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Protecting Personal Data in the Digital Age

Streamowrks Blog

Discover the essential regulations shaping digital privacy


Personal data has become a valuable commodity in today's interconnected world, often collected, used, and sometimes exploited without individuals' consent. To address these concerns, various laws and regulations have been implemented to safeguard the privacy and security of personal information. Three significant regulations that play crucial roles in protecting personal data are the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).


General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Enforced by the European Union (EU) in 2018, GDPR is a comprehensive regulation to safeguard EU citizens' data. It applies to any organization that collects, processes, or stores personal data of individuals residing in the EU, regardless of the organization's location. Personal data, GDPR, encompasses a broad range of information, including but not limited to names, contact details, IP addresses, online identifiers, and browsing history.

GDPR is built on seven fundamental principles: transparency, purpose limitation, data minimization, accuracy, storage limitation, security, and accountability. Individuals under GDPR have rights over their personal data, including the right to access, rectify, and erase their data and data portability.

For email marketers, compliance with GDPR means obtaining explicit consent from subscribers before collecting or using their data for marketing purposes. Marketers must also provide clear information about data usage and offer easy opt-out mechanisms for recipients.


California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

Like GDPR, CCPA is designed to protect individuals' privacy rights, particularly California residents, the largest state population-wise. Enacted in 2018, the CCPA grants Californian consumers the right to know what personal information is being collected about them, the right to opt out of the sale of their personal information, and the right to request the deletion of their data.

CCPA applies to businesses meeting specific criteria, including annual gross revenue exceeding $25 million, handling personal information of 50,000 or more consumers, households, or devices, or deriving 50% or more of their annual revenue from selling consumers' personal information.

For businesses subject to CCPA, compliance involves transparent data practices, clear privacy policies outlining consumer rights, and mechanisms for consumers to exercise their rights over their data.


Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

HIPAA, enacted in 1996 in the United States, is focused on protecting individuals' medical information and ensuring the security and privacy of healthcare data. HIPAA: the Privacy Rule and the Security Rule. The Privacy Rule sets standards for safeguarding individuals' health information, while the Security Rule establishes standards for securing electronically protected health information (ePHI).

HIPAA grants patients control over their health information, including the right to access, review, and amend their medical records. It also prohibits the disclosure of sensitive medical information without explicit consent.

For email marketers, compliance with HIPAA means refraining from targeting individuals based on medical information without explicit consent. Personalizing medical information advertisements is only permitted with consent to ensure privacy and security compliance.


In conclusion, as digital technologies evolve, regulations like GDPR, CCPA, and HIPAA play crucial roles in safeguarding individuals' personal data and privacy rights. Adhering to these regulations fosters trust between businesses and consumers and ensures the ethical and responsible use of personal information in the digital age.


To stay up-to-date on digital marketing tactics for your organization, we encourage you to follow The Buzz: a LinkedIn page that focuses exclusively on nonprofit education, best practices, and tips.

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