Data Privacy vs. Data Security: Which Should You Choose?

By Aileen Padua - Published on February 24, 2021
Article gives what are the difference in data privacy and data security

Yes, it can be confusing in telling the difference between data security and data privacy. But it’s pretty crucial for company owners to get an idea of differentiating the two before deciding to invest in either data privacy or data security.

According to, 45% of respondents from a Cisco Privacy Survey indicated that the federal government is responsible for their data via data privacy. As for companies, 21% of respondents from the same survey believe that companies should be held responsible for protecting their data privacy. Aside from that fact, what does this all really mean for data privacy? It would generally refer to the right of privacy for an individual and how it’s being properly managed.

As for data security, it’s the protection of personal data from malicious attacks and other ways of exploitation by third parties. If you think about it, businesses who have efficient data security within their system, wouldn’t it be deemed as reliable? That would be the case for 84% of customers part of a research conducted by Salesforce(2). It’s been said that customers who shop or subscribe to businesses or companies with strong security controls are more loyal than customers who didn’t feel as safe with weak data security systems.

Nonetheless, we hope that our slightly long introduction didn’t bore you just yet.  I mean, aren’t you curious to learn what both types of protection have to offer? You don’t want to miss out on this type of information between data protection and data security.

Difference Between Data Privacy and Data Security

Data Privacy Data Security
Focuses on the reflection of what kinds of data are important Focuses on the reflection how policies get enforced
Responsible for governing the distribution of data sharing, collecting, and usage Data security sets policies, methods, and means to secure personal data
Data privacy sets about usage, collection, retention, deletion, and storage of data Data security is the main prerequisite to data privacy
Receives prerequisites from data security Protects from users accessing your personal information and other types of data
Ability to block websites, browser, cable companies, and other internet service providers that can track your information and browser history Protects data from getting compromised by malicious insiders and external attackers
Data Privacy Tools

  • Browser extensions/add-ons
  • Password managers
  • Private browsers
  • Email services
  • Encrypted messaging
  • Private search engines
  • Web proxies
  • File encryption software
  • Ad and tracker blockers
Data Security Tools

  • Identity/access management
  • Data loss prevention
  • Anti-malware software
  • Antivirus software
  • Event management software
  • Data masking software
Does not require an encryption format Encryption is important for Data Security

What is Data Privacy?

The textbook definition for data privacy is that it’s a branch to data security, but more so focuses on the proper handling of data. This will typically refer to one’s right to have privacy and basically be left alone. The main requirements to data privacy are:

  • Following policies approved by GDPR, or the General Data Protection Regulations
  • Being managed by a third-party such as Logic Gate, Data Privacy Manager or GreatHorn
  • Contract management

What is Data Security?

Data security is the protection of personal data from hackers, data breaches, and other attacks deemed as malicious and exploitative. Having data security for your database reduces the risks of third-party access as well as regular monitoring and breach response. The main requirements that revolve around data security are:

  • Encryption
  • Quick responses to data breaches
  • Regular monitoring of activity
  • Multi-factor authentication

Although both terms are completely different, the commonality between data privacy and data security is working with one another. It’s a known fact that data security works hand in hand with data privacy. Together, data privacy and data security build the bridge between data protection.

Final Thoughts

This was not meant to choose one over the other. However, learning about information between data security and data privacy should broaden the minds of digital marketers seeking to expand their knowledge of cybersecurity.

Though there are multiple reasons why front-end developers should look more into improving data security and updating systems to data privacy, the main thought to consider here is how your business can create an ideal security system that can increase ROI and customer loyalty all at once.

Aileen Padua | Aileen Padua is an aspiring social media coordinator. She is currently majoring in Advertising at Fresno State University. With her understanding about the power of social media, Aileen is passionate about preserving and enhancing the image of one’s reputation in the public eye.

Aileen Padua | Aileen Padua is an aspiring social media coordinator. She is currently majoring in Advertising at Fresno State University. With her understanding a...

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