This weekend was Data Protection Day for the year 2024. On 26 April 2006 the Council of Europe decided to launch a Data Protection Day to be celebrated each year on 28 January. Since then, it has been adopted outside Europe as Privacy Day, and remains a great day to raise awareness for this critical issue.
What is Data Protection?
Data protection is the field of safeguarding personal information – any data which can be used to identify an individual falls under this category. Data protection laws aim to ensure that personal data is used fairly, lawfully and transparently, and that individuals have control over their own data.
The field of Data Protection is a growing one as the question of personal rights to anonymity on the internet gain more attention and as the topic is covered by more and more regulatory bodies. Annually, it is celebrated during Data Protection Day with numerous initiatives meant to highlight different aspects of the field.
Shaping the future of Data Protection
One of the aspects highlighted this year by German think tanks and researchers was shaping the future of Data Protection – looking at how developments in the technology space, including the further development of AI tools, is going to interact with government regulations (including established ones like the GDPR, which we have discussed previously, and future prospective legislation).
The importance of the Data Protection Day cannot be made more obvious than it already has by the last years; until recent years, the words “machine learning” or “artificial intelligence” were confined to use by a narrow group of specialists. Now, they are regularly used. AI tools have gone from being an experimental topic for researchers, to a curiosity for the most tech savvy, to commonplace.
In addition to this, we have seen new proposed laws, at the national and European level, aiming to rule and regulate the digital world. All of these interact with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), sometimes unpredictably. This will have a significant impact on the practice of data processing, handling and storage – including for personal data.
All of these topics have reason to resound and be thoroughly discussed as we work our way into 2024 and prepare to face developments in the data protection field.
AI and the future of Data Protection
The Council of Europe states clearly that data protections have to be made to bring data handling in line with human rights – in terms of right to privacy, but also free expression and other fields. The advent of AI tools looks to complicate this into the future.
It has been a year since Microsoft Copilot began slowly rolling out. The questions regarding data safety with the new tool were raised almost as soon as the announcement was made. AI tools are, as multiple organizations made clear from the start, no respecters of data. The tools can and will often make use of personal data in their data sets.
In addition, one of the things specifically brought up by several speakers for Data Protection Day 2024 was the non-transparent nature of decision making brought about by AI tools. Many AI are effectively a black box – with no true way of anticipating how their decisions are being made by which precise metrics. As a consequence, there are increasing concerns about how to bring AI tools into existing regulatory frameworks and how to design new frameworks around these tools.
New government legislation and regulation
More than 137 countries have enacted data protection and privacy laws, while several more are developing legislation. According to Gartner, 75% of the global population will have their data protected under privacy and data protection laws by the end of 2024. A plurality of these are countries covered by GDPR or its national offshoots.
At the same time, there are always new pieces of legislation planned. This requires continuous monitoring on the part of organizations to ensure they remain in compliance, as well as the flexibility to take changes into account. Finally, it presents a challenge to those providing software covered by these regulations – namely, archives and backup systems.
Data Protection versus Data Security
Archiving software and backups present a unique challenge in the context of data protection. On the one hand, they are an integral part of any data security scheme. On the other hand, as anyone familiar with the question of how GDPR interacts with archiving can attest, they risk running afoul of a number of regulatory principles, including the Right to be Forgotten.
This makes it often seem like organizations have to make a difficult decision regarding if they wish to more closely adhere to the spirit of regulations – which can also help futureproof them against further legislation – or if they would rather ensure safety from cybersecurity threats or maintain their business continuity in the face of other threats.
This is of course a false binary – organizations can and indeed must take into account both aspects of how they approach their data. It does, nevertheless, remain an acute problem especially when choosing what archiving software to use – balancing easy discoverability and access with Right to be Forgotten, retention rules and periods, confidentiality, and other considerations.
And striking that balance is not always easy; despite the fact that most companies maintain some form of electronic records retention, and that electronic records retention policies are generally mandated by local legal frameworks, these records may not fully comply with higher standard regulatory requirements like GDPR. Fortunately, there is an ideal solution:
Archive with contentACCESS Archive and Backup
The most effective approach for organizations is to find software that fulfils as many roles as possible with a single solution. Look no further than contentACCESS Archive and Backup. With our intelligent solution, you can easily set retention policies that will automatically retain critical data, while our flexible and comprehensive full-text search makes identification and retrieval of required information simple.
Furthermore, unlike many archives on the market, contentACCESS prides itself on remaining at the forefront of the field and in step with recent developments. Using a less responsive, less regularly-updated archive can open organizations up to risk from regulatory non-compliance – as well as other considerations, not least of which being failing to keep abreast of cybersecurity updates!
Besides filling a company’s eDiscovery needs, the presence of an archive and backup solution is an invaluable aid in keeping your company internal data secured from both internal and external threats. And thanks to contentACCESS’ ease of access and ease of search, we can help your company take your employee productivity and efficiency to greater heights.
Do you want to learn more about contentACCESS and what it can do for your company? TECH-ARROW is here to help! Contact us and schedule a free meeting with our team of specialists to discuss how we can best set your business up for success. Start this year right and take advantage of this Data Protection Day to grant yourselves peace of mind for the future. Archive smarter with TECH-ARROW.
Take the best steps to protect your data – with TECH-ARROW.