Data privacy has become a major concern for consumers in the wake of highly publicized data breaches. Add to that stories of large tech companies selling data or misusing data.
Governments around the world are reacting by creating data privacy standards to protect consumer rights.
How Many Data Privacy Laws Are There?
What makes privacy laws confusing for website owners is that there’s nothing at the federal level to legislate data privacy laws for the entire country.
If there’s one thing that supporters on both sides of the aisle can agree on, it’s that our members of Congress aren’t exactly aware of technology.
That leaves it up to state legislatures to pick up the slack and create their own privacy laws. Where we’re heading is to have a country that has 50 different forms of privacy legislation.
California is the leader with the strictest legislation that was enacted to date, the California Consumer Privacy Act. Legislation has been enacted in New York, New Jersey, Nevada, Maryland, Washington, Oregon, Texas.
For sites that reach audiences in Europe, you have to comply with the General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR).
The reason why these regulations were created was to give power and control back to consumers. They should be able to decide what is collected and how it’s used. Consumers have the right to ask for the data that’s collected and request that
At the core of these laws, and the ones emerging from state legislatures is that you have to inform your site’s visitors information as to how you’re collecting data, why, and how it’s used.
This is important to have even if you just collect email addresses or have analytics on your site to track SEO efforts.
Failure to comply with these regulations will result in fines. In California, non-compliance fines can be as high as $7,500 per infringement.
Get Your Site Fully Compliant
Data privacy laws are hard to follow because there isn’t one federal policy that guides website owners. It’s largely up to individual states to create their own laws.