9 Governing Data Privacy Principles

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9 Governing Data Privacy Principles

Data privacy and data governance have similar concepts within an organization and many times fall within the same function or department. Depending on the structure of the company, data governance leaders are often responsible for implementing and maintaining the data privacy program. Both data privacy and governance are crucial for protecting the data of people and ensuring PII data is secured and used with the proper intent. Data access, mapping, controls, quality, and compliance are key components of how data governance and privacy intersect. Below are some of the key areas that are crucial when engaging in a data privacy program.

Purpose limitation within the realm of data privacy states that PII data (personally identifiable information) that is collected, processed, analyzed, shared, or distributed is only used for the original purpose it was intended for. This is put in place to prevent PII data from being used for anything outside of what it was originally intended for. 

Data minimization is a principle of data privacy that mandates businesses to only gather, use, and store the essential amount of personal data necessary to fulfill a specific purpose. This rule seeks to reduce the amount of personal data that is gathered and processed, thereby diminishing the risk of misuse or unauthorized access.

Data retention is the practice of preserving personal information after it has been collected or processed for a predetermined period. The duration for which personal data is retained may vary depending on the type of data, the purpose for which it was obtained, and any applicable legal or regulatory requirements.

External Data Misuse is essentially the unlawful appropriation of personal data by individuals outside of an organization. This can pertain to cybercriminals, hackers, or any other persons who gain access to personal information without authorization. In many cases, organizations will sell and distribute data collected for a purpose it was not intended for. This would violate certain privacy laws depending on what area of the world the organization was headquartered in and the location of the individual’s data that was being shared. 

Transparency is a crucial principle in data privacy that refers to the duty an organization has to inform users and customers how their PII data is being collected and used. This information should be presented in an easily readable format and include details on the end goal for the data, how long it will be stored, who it will be shared with, and who will have access to the data. 

Fairness within data privacy entails treating specific groups and demographics fairly and will not discriminate based on the PII data that is received. Data such as race, age, gender, religion, or any other trait or characteristic that is protected. This correlates to purpose limitation as the data collected should only be used for the specific purpose it was intended for. 

Accountability is crucial in data privacy as organizations need to take responsibility for all aspects of collecting, storing, sharing, selling, and analyzing personal data. Accountability ensures that companies and organizations will be accountable for the misuse and management of PII data. 


Data encryption and archiving are both important techniques for protecting data privacy. Encryption involves the use of algorithms to scramble data so that it cannot be read by unauthorized individuals whereas archiving involves the process of storing data in a security location for a long period of time. Archiving can be used to protect data privacy by ensuring that sensitive information is stored in a secure location with certain rights enabled to users without permissions who cannot access the PII data.

Subject rights and access management gives individuals “control” of their personal data. One of the most discussed areas of an individual’s subject rights is the right to be forgotten. This is a concept that gives someone the right to request the complete deletion of all personal data that the organization is storing within its systems. Data Restriction gives an individual the right to request an organization to restrict the usage of their PII data, and not be used for something outside of what the original intent is.

These are just some of the many principle areas that data privacy professionals focus on every day. Aligning with a legal team or sponsor will help achieve the business alignment from a risk and priority perspective. All of these principles work best when aligning with a people-centric model for communication and collaboration. Learn more by beginning a data privacy learning path and connecting with members of the DataQG community. 

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