- Michael Jones
Is your organization effectively protecting its information?
Happy Data Privacy Day! Or perhaps a more appropriate greeting: Is your organization employing information privacy best practices today . . . and everyday?
Data Privacy Day focuses on raising awareness among businesses, consumers, and families on the importance of protecting the privacy of their personal information online.
At ZorroSign, our corporate mission is to leverage blockchain technology to deliver a lifetime of security and privacy for your digital signatures and documents that is easy-to-use and legally compliant. Data privacy is one of our core values as we strive to provide the most trusted and secure paperless experience.
A Short History of Data Privacy in the United States
“In recent years, information privacy has emerged as one of the central issues of our times,” notes Daniel J. Solove in a George Washington University Law School publication on information privacy laws. “Today, we have hundreds of laws pertaining to privacy: the common law torts, criminal law, evidentiary privileges, constitutional law, at least twenty federal statutes, and numerous statutes in each of the fifty states.”
Solove traces privacy protections from early American census and government records, through post mail and telegraph communications, to personal papers and information. Then “the development of the computer in 1946 revolutionized information collection. Throughout the second half of the twentieth century, the computer revolutionized the way records and data were collected, disseminated, and used,” writes Solove and “the increasing use of computers in the 1960s raised a considerable public concern about privacy.”
Congress passed the Privacy Act of 1974 to regulate the “collection and use of records by federal agencies, and affords individuals right to access and correct their personal information,” then passed the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986 which “protects wire, oral, and electronic communications while those communications are being made, are in transit, and when they are stored on computers. The Act applies to email, telephone conversations, and data stored electronically.”
The 1990’s saw the rise of the Internet which changed the game for data collection, storage, and dissemination. Initially, the U.S. passed the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) of 1998—which “prohibits unfair or deceptive acts or practices in connection with the collection, use, and/or disclosure of personal information from and about children on the Internet”—then the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) of 1999 defining personal identifying information privacy for financial institutions which expanded privacy policies across many industries.
The September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States initially brought challenges to data privacy as the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 granted federal agencies greater power to collect personal information and expanded the investigative powers of law enforcement based on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
At this time, “the U.S. doesn’t (yet) have a federal-level general consumer data privacy law, let alone a data security law,” notes Varonis, a cybersecurity company.
But individual states are taking up the cause for data privacy and—often emulating policies and practices set by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)—defining stronger privacy protections. For example, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) of 2018 (and copycat laws in other states such as Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and North Dakota) gives “consumers more control over the personal information that businesses collect about them, including: The right to know about the personal information a business collects about them and how it is used and shared; the right to delete personal information collected from them (with some exceptions); the right to opt-out of the sale of their personal information; and the right to non-discrimination for exercising their CCPA rights.”
Information Privacy Today
2020 was not a great year for world health or for data privacy. The news was filled with stories of data breaches, and the Great Supply Chain Hack of 2020 may haunt government data systems for years—“This is looking like it’s the worst hacking case in the history of America,” says one U.S. official. “They got into everything.”
In this climate of fear and risk, ZorroSign’s CEO and co-founder, Shamsh Hadi, has built a company culture where “trust is everything.” Private businesses, government organizations, educational institutions, legal departments, real estate companies, and many other industries trust ZorroSign technologies to protect their data and secure their information privacy.
Our private, permissioned blockchain platform is compliant with dozens of international privacy and security standards, including United States eSign Act, Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1), the Federal Canadian Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), Canadian Provincial Uniform Electronic Commerce Act (UECA), the Information Technology Act 2000 (IT Act of India), and GDPR in Europe, and many more.
Request a copy of our ZorroSign Security Brief for details on our unique blockchain architecture, document storage and protection, and platform security measures or contact us today to learn how ZorroSign’s digital business platform can protect your data privacy!