Data minimization has become a major issue for stakeholders in the internet. As the web keeps growing, companies are increasingly faced with different ways of collecting large amount of data.
Data Minimization is a concept that ensures that the information or data collected and stored should not be retained or further used unless this is necessary to protect data privacy for reasons that have been clearly stated in advance. Although laws such as GDPR and CCPA undoubtedly pose short-term enforcement problems, they are the result of public issues around data privacy that are understood and growing.
The concept will be discussed in this article below.
Data minimization and the GDPR
Data minimization has been one of the core principles of the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which stipulates that data processing should always use as much data as is required to complete the tasks given. The regulatory requirements for Data Minimization are laid out in Section 5 of the GDPR. This outlines how personal data will be kept no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which it is being handled. There are some cases where personal data can be kept for longer periods of time which includes storing the data for scientific or statistical or any requirement of that particular organization.
Data Minimization and the CCPA
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which came into force on January 1, 2020, changed the equation for nearly all California residents and company stakeholders. Since U.S. legislation changes, including the CCPA standards, companies are building forward-looking comprehensive and versatile privacy frameworks. CCPA contains the concepts of constraint of collection and minimization of data,
Why is data minimization important?
It is becoming easier to collect data but it also comes at a cost. You need to ensure the data is safely stored as you get more information. With too much information in your hands, a data breach can be catastrophic when that happens. You can do more harm than good to your personal identifiable information and that is not necessary. As hackers are always searching for new and creative ways to steal personal information, it’s important to gather as little information as possible. Therefore, in the case of a security data breach you do not lose too much user data.
The organization will also save large chunks of money spent on storing useless information beforehand. As a computer with an excess of applications and data continues to perform slow, an organization overloaded of excessive processing information begins to stagnate over the long term.
How to carry out data minimization?
As per the GDPR, personal information or data should only be stored if other methods could not adequately serve the function of obtaining the data. In order to stay in compliance and carry out data minimization properly, the GDPR guidelines mandate that data be adequate, relevant and limited to what is required connection with the purpose for which it is collected, and that data be stored in a form that allows data subjects to be detected for no longer than is appropriate for the purposes for which the personal data is processed.
If you want to make sure the data you are gathering is useful you should ask yourself how you are going to use the data. If you are using the user’s information to create a personal profile, ask yourself the data is important for that organization. If it’s for a medical service a gender may be more important than a religion or ethnicity. Another crucial question that you need to ask yourself before gathering this data is who will be allowed to access the information.
You should seek help from an impartial firm of professionals after finishing the analysis and conclusion and are still unsure if you are achieving data minimization. If you violate any GDPR, CCPA or any other Data Privacy regulations, the consequences could be severe and the fine can surpass 15M Euros. CCPA intentional violations may bring civil penalties of up to $7,500 for each violation in a lawsuit brought by the California Attorney General on behalf of the people of the California. For other violations the maximum fine is $2500 per violation. Entities shall ensure that personal data was properly disposed of when it is no longer needed for the reason for which it was obtained.