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Privacy laws

The need for sharing of data and information between scientists in institutes and universities around the world fostered the conception and development of the World Wide Web in 1989. 

Though Created in 1989, the 21st century has seen a significant increase in the use of the World Wide Web. 

This is due to the increase in businesses worldwide and their need to reach their target market via the internet more effectively. 

With such a great increase in the numbers of websites and users, it shows that there is a need for the protection of users’ personal information and data obtained through these registration and other formalities.


This is where Privacy laws come into secure the private data and information of users and the website owners.

What are privacy laws?

Privacy laws are almost self-explanatory. It defines a set of rules or laws put in place to govern and regulate how website owners, web developers, governments, public or private entities collect and store personally identifiable information or tags of their users. 

Daily, a lot of private information and data of consumers have been made available to web developers and website owners as the demand and use of the web increases

Web developers need this information to secure the use of their websites by unknown clients and consumers. This information or data is used to check Cyber criminality and hacking, which usually affect the proper functioning of a website.

But clients and consumers are not comfortable when their private information is made available to web developers and are not properly handled and secured.

Why are privacy laws necessary to web developers?

To secure users’ data and information in the 21st century, there has been a continuous increase in the number of persons using the web for marketing, research, studies, and entertainment. 

According to the statista, in July 2020, 4.5 billion people were active internet users who represent 59% of the global population. About 2 billion websites have been created, but less than 400 million are active. This means, 1.6 billion are inactive, dormant, or illegal. 

With such a great number of websites and users, cyber criminality has also increased through the creation of fake websites and the wrong motives of some web developers and web owners to exploit users’ private and financial information.

Defining the legacy of a website through the management of clients’ data. 

Privacy laws are set in as a means by which both genuine and fake websites and web developers could be known and persecuted if they fail to secure and respect consumers’/users’ privacy. Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights explicitly announced: “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence”. 

Once a web developer or web owner who wrongly handles users’ private information and data, the particular website can losses its integrity and may face severe sanctions and penalties. 

Search engines such as Google and Bing has also takes privacy laws into consideration and is now becoming a major factor of trust on websites for SEO elements as well.

Which privacy laws should web developers implement?

There is no need for a new or old web developer to doubt the privacy laws to implement on a website. Privacy laws have been made at international standards and not a matter of individual draftings. 

As these privacy laws are now at international standards, even if you are a web design agency in sri lanka, which is a third world country, you are still commited to follow these laws for the protection of web users. 

Privacy laws can be developed at a regional level by different state governments or nations to control the use of the internet as a means for transactions within that jurisdiction. 

The two important privacy laws necessary for all web developers are;

 At the same time, the European Union Data Privacy Directive (EUDPD) is strictly for European countries and the CCPA tries to protect internet users by implementing additional rules and regulations on businesses whose websites are accessible in the same.

What are some examples of privacy laws?

Many state authorities throughout the world have put in place a set of supreme privacy laws relating to some of the following specific areas

  • Children’s online privacy protection act.
  • Communications act of 1934.
  • Computer fraud and abuse act.
  • Consumer financial protection act. 
  • Electronic communications privacy act.
  • The fair credit reporting act. 

The state authorities drafted these laws to protect consumers’ rights and personal data at all costs in the operation of a website.

How can privacy Laws be implemented?  

Implementing privacy laws in the case of the United States is in line with the safe harbor principles, which requires self-certifiers to treat personal data received from Europe as subject to the EU Directive principles

Some of the key tenets amongst the seven principles of the safe harbor between the United State and Europe that are in line with privacy laws as in other state are;

  • Onward transfer: Demand that a the safe harbor processor wanting to transfer personal data of a client to a third-party agent in the United States or abroad must first verify and notify the client in concern. 
  • Security: The Safe harbor processors must take reasonable steps to protect the personal data of their clients from loss, misuse, or unauthorized access.
  • Data Integrity: Personal information kept on file must be limited to the purposes for which an organization intends to use it.
  • Access: European data subjects must be able to access their personal information housed in the United States under the safe harbor, and they must have a way to correct, amend, or delete inaccurate information.

What are the effects in violation of privacy laws by web developers?

Penalties:

Penalties for the violation of data laws are very significant in Europe and Canada. Each European country has the authority of a panel in charge of implementing penalties for data law violations.

 European internet privacy policies give a place for internet users whose data rights have been violated to file class action law suites against defaulters. 

For example, Spain’s data agency is said to be self-funded from the fines it collects and can impose fines of up to €600,000. France’s cap on fines is €150,000 for a first offense, plus five years in imprisonment.

Publicity:

Violating data privacy law is likely to cause more harm than good.

 In Europe, citizens jealously guard their private data and information made available to web developers and owners against fraud and misuse. 

Any multinational company, whether private or public caught flouting the privacy rights of clients, can suffer a significant public relations hit.

Conclusion

If you are a web developer, and you had no idea of the law that goes around your field of work, now you know the A-Z on privacy laws of web development which can help you increase the quality of your services and avoid any potential legal issues that may arise.

By Anjana Wickramaratne

My name is Anjana Wickramaratne and I am a web designer and a digital marketer from Sri lanka with 5+ years of experience. I am constantly in the lookout for new skills and knowledge around my industry. I also give my knowledge and experience back to the community whenever I can.
Thank you for your time and have a great day ahead.

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