Data Privacy vs Data Protection: What’s the Difference?

Data privacy and data protection are the two tightly intertwined notions that many people, even exercising information-related activities ones, confuse. However, the vital distinction exists, and underestimating it can lead you and your company to data breaches and leakage. We will help you avoid any misconception of data privacy and its consequences.

The core difference between data privacy and data protection

Any online security strategy consists of two parts — provision of data privacy and data security. Providing just either privacy or security doesn’t guarantee successful safety assurance.

In simpler terms:

Data Protection is a practical securing sensitive data against unauthorized access, data breaches, and leaks.

To provide Data Protection, usually, we use firewalls, make and update backups, set user authentication, use encryption, tokenization, and pseudonymization, apply access control, and data destruction. Some people do not care at all.

Data Privacy defines who does have access to the data from a legal perspective. People call it Policy.

Providing Data Privacy means that a company, which deals with personal data (process, stores, transmits) ensures that it is received in accordance with the expectations and with the consent of their owners. This means informing people in advance what types of data will be collected, for what purpose and to whom it will be provided later.

Protection doesn’t always presuppose Privacy

Your identifying information can be securely protected while the privacy remains to be uncovered. Seems contradicting, right?

For better understanding, consider the real-life example: You make a purchase online. When you share your credit card credentials with a service provider, you entrust your private info to the service provider and payment system. They are to see to it that cybercrooks and other 3rd parties can’t get your credit card info without your permission. They ensure full data protection. At the same time, your credit card info is no longer private as you shared it and now are relying on a service provider who is promising not to misuse it.

Thus, though security measures can be taken without satisfying the confidentiality, privacy problems cannot be resolved without applying effective security measures. In a nutshell, privacy restricts access, and security is a process or application for restricting this access. In other words, security protects data, and privacy protects identity.

When is our Data Privacy at risk?

Every time you are online. Currently, almost every respectable website uses Cookies to track your online movements. You share your private data and metadata on social media, emails, and messengers. Sometimes, not even realizing that.

Data privacy meaning

Remember the story of Cambridge Analytica, which collected users’ data from Facebook, analyzed it, and used to target politician ads. It’s believed to be the prime reason of Mr. Trump won on that election.

Exactis left the records of more than 300 million people and businesses on a publicly accessible server that anyone could access. Thus, names, emails, habits, marital statuses, interests, religion, pets, love-mates info was disclosed.

New similar-kind stories appear almost every month, in smaller scales or in huge. And how many stories will never be disclosed to the public!

Your data is collected each second you are online.

However, it’s the user’s responsibility to control privacy, while protection is the companies’ duty. It’s users who decide what data to provide and to whom. Companies must make sure that all the security requirements are met and all the users’ expectations are responded.

Your privacy isn’t put at risk if you take some precaution measures. For instance, if you use decentralized anonymous networks like Utopia for connecting people, processing payments, and browsing web-resources. In this case, your data will be held on your own device. It minimizes the possibility of data theft.

Is the Data Privacy & Protection issue being regulated?

Undoubtedly, the security and privacy of our data are regulated globally. This became clear several years ago. All regulations are involved in improving the technology. However, there is one tricky point that affects the regulation of work. Today, many jurisdictions note privacy as a postulate of fundamental law. While others are engaged in the protection of rights. This system leads to problems with the interpretation of these rules.

Besides, there is a tendency to create free rules regarding the security and confidentiality of information. Such measures are becoming tougher for companies that do not have enough guarantees for the accuracy of data.

At the same time, governors are focused on strengthening important aspects, such as protecting rights, responding to incidents, online reconciliation, transparency requirements, and data collection and processing.

General data protection regulation

For example, there are a number of generally accepted rules:

GDPR. This is the EU Regulation that protects the personal data of citizens. It is aimed at ensuring control over personal information of citizens, as well as simplifying the structure of regulating commercial relations within the EU.

It regulates the processing of identifying information and extends its effect not only to companies from the EU, but also to companies from other countries.

PCI DSS. It is a set of 12 detailed requirements for ensuring the security of cardholders’ data that is transferred, stored, and processed in the information infrastructures of organizations. Taking necessary procedures to ensure compliance with the requirements of the standard requires an integrated approach to ensuring the information security of payment card data.

CCPA. It is a US-based regulation that gives new rights to consumers regarding the collection and privacy of their personal stuff.

Will encryption keep the data safe and private?

Encryption is a transformation of info that makes it unreadable to outsiders. At the same time, proxies can decrypt and read the content. There are many ways to encrypt/decrypt, but data privacy is not based on a secret algorithm, but on the fact that the encryption key (password) is known only to authorized people.

It is vital to tell two things apart — encryption and encoding. Coding also converts info, but only for the convenience of storage and transmission, secrecy is not the main task. Typical encoding methods are Morse code and binary encoding letters to be stored on a PC.

Encryption is one of the legal methods of data protection mentioned in GDPR. The data should be encrypted at all stages — during acquisition, processing, and storing.

Therefore, even if your data is stolen by a 3rd party, it can’t be read. The abuser has to own your device physically and know the password for decryption. That’s why this method is believed to be the best security provider.

Big data privacy issues

Such type of guarding through encryption has several advantages:

  • ensuring the    integrity and blocking of data stored in electronic form; 
  • protection of    databases, mail and other systems from unauthorized access; 
  • protection of info    from copying and disclosure;

Utopia applies both Elliptic Curve Cryptography (Curve25519) and Advanced Encryption Standard (256-bit) to provide total protection of all the information transmitted within it.


Data protection is a basic requirement for enterprises and governments. It’s their responsibility to ensure that your data is safeguarded from illegal access to unauthorized parties. It’s all about the messengers, browsers, payment services you use, and grand your info to.

Data privacy is about control over how your data is used. It’s privacy that users should be concerned about in the first instance as it’s their responsibility. It’s they decide what data they share and with whom.

Data leakage, hacking, and the human factor are a constant reminder of the threats and risks that arise around the world. The costs associated with data leakage and bad exposure can be astronomical.

Requirements for using an advanced cybersecurity strategy and data leak protection are based on the use of a reliable method of protection like encryption, tokenization, and anonymization.

Knowledge breeds confidence. We hope that, with this article, we managed to clear the privacy issue up so that you can be sure of your constant online security.


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