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As the world moves toward a more digital-centric way of living, companies must be more aware of the impact their data privacy decisions have on their customers and clients. With new regulations like GDPR, it is important for businesses to ensure that they are compliant with international standards. In this blog article dedicated to International Data Privacy Day, Annika Regel, Information security consultant, talks about ISO 27701 certification and how it can help strengthen your business’s data privacy measures. 


Introduction to data privacy

There are a lot of discussions these days around data privacy and ISO 27701 certification, and rightfully so. With all of the information chaotically shared online, it’s essential to know that there are standards in place to help protect people’s data. Data privacy refers to the security measures that organizations use to protect information from unauthorized access, processing, or disclosure. It is a must-have attribute for any company that collects and stores personal data about its customers or employees, such as address and contact information, financial records, personal health data, and other sensitive information.

Data privacy involves a range of practices and technologies, such as encryption, tokenization, pseudonymization, access control systems, and more. These measures help ensure that only authorized personnel can access specific data sets. Organizations must also have procedures in place to ensure they are compliant with various applicable laws and regulations related to data privacy, and ISO 27701 serves as proof of compliance with those regulations.

It is important for organizations to take effective steps to protect the privacy of their customer’s personal information as well as other confidential business data. By doing so, companies can build trust with their customers, create a secure environment for their employees to work in, and avoid potential legal action due to violations of data privacy laws. 

Implementing ISO 27701 is beneficial for organizations of any size that collect or process personal data. By following the standard's requirements, businesses can build a strong foundation for protecting people's data privacy rights. Annika Regel, Information security consultant at Sigma Technology

ISO 27701 vs ISO 27001

As you probably know, when it comes to data privacy and security, there are two main international standards: ISO 27701 and ISO 27001. And So, what’s the difference between these two standards?  

Both ISO 27701 and ISO 27001 are important standards for ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data. However, they each have a different focus: ISO 27701 is focused on privacy management, while ISO 27001 is focused on information security management. 

The main difference between ISO 27701 and ISO 27001 is that ISO 27701 provides guidance on how to implement a comprehensive privacy management program, while ISO 27001 focuses on how to establish, maintain and improve an information security management system. 

ISO 27701 addresses the requirements of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and other global privacy laws and regulations. It can help organizations to build customer trust, manage risks and protect their reputation.Thus, ISO 27701 provides guidance on managing privacy-related risks and obligations, while ISO 27001 focuses on protecting the confidentiality of sensitive data. Helena Johansson, Quality manager at Sigma Technology Group

ISO 27001, on the other hand, is a widely recognized information security standard that helps organizations keep their confidential data safe from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. It can also assist organizations in complying with data privacy laws and regulations. 


Get started with ISO 27701 certification in Sweden and the EU

There’s a lot to unpack with ISO certification. But where should you start? Here’s a quick overview of what you need to know to get started with this critical standard. 

To get started with ISO 27701, you’ll need to understand the six principles of data privacy: 

  • Transparency: Data controllers should be transparent about their data handling practices.
  • Respect for individual rights: Data controllers should respect the rights of individuals with respect to their personal data.
  • Purpose limitation: Data should only be collected and used for specified, explicit, and legitimate purposes. 
  • Data minimization: Only the minimum amount of personal data necessary should be collected and used. 
  • Accuracy and completeness: Personal data should be accurate and complete. 
  • Storage limitation: Personal data should only be stored for as long as necessary. 

You’ll also need to familiarize yourself with the concepts of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and Sensitive Personal Data (SPD). PII is any information identifying an individual, such as a name, address, or Social Security number. SPD is any information that could potentially harm an individual if it were released, such as health records or financial information. 

Finally, you’ll need to understand the requirements of ISO 27701, which include developing a privacy policy, carrying out regular risk assessments, and establishing an internal audit program. You’ll also need to create procedures for handling data subject requests and responding to data breaches. 

With all this in mind, you’ll be ready to start building your own privacy management program that meets the requirements of ISO 27701.

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History overview 

Data privacy has a long and complicated history, dating back to the early days of the internet. The first major data privacy law was the EU Data Protection Directive, which was passed in 1995. This law established strict rules about how personal data could be collected and used. It also gave individuals the right to know what personal data was being collected about them and the right to have that data erased. 

Since then, there have been a number of other important data privacy laws passed, including the US Privacy Act (1974), the Canadian Privacy Act (1982), and the UK Data Protection Act (1998). These laws have helped to shape the way that businesses handle personal data and have ensured that individuals have some control over their personal information. 

With the rise of big data and the rise of social media, data privacy has become more important than ever. Businesses are collecting vast amounts of data about their customers, and individuals are sharing an increasing amount of personal information online. This has led to a need for stronger data protection laws and regulations. 

In 2018, the European Union passed the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is considered to be the most comprehensive data privacy law in existence. The GDPR sets out strict rules about how personal data must be collected, used, and protected. It gives individuals a number of rights, including the right to access their personal data, the right to have their personal data erased, and the right to object to its use. 

Data privacy laws constantly evolve as technology changes and new concerns come to light. Going forward, businesses must remain flexible and aware of the latest laws to protect their customers’ data and remain compliant with the law. 

About GDPR in Sweden and the EU

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a set of regulations that member states of the European Union must implement to protect the privacy of digital data. It replaces the Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC), which was repealed in 1995 and did not take into account advances in technology.  

Under GDPR, all organizations in the EU, thus, in Sweden, that process personal data must meet certain requirements regarding how they handle that data. This includes keeping it secure and only using it for purposes specified by law. Organizations also need to be able to demonstrate that they have implemented appropriate security measures to protect against any potential threats or vulnerabilities. 

Organizations are also required to provide individuals with access to their personal data if requested—and they have 30 days to respond to such requests before penalties begin being levied against them by regulators responsible for enforcing these regulations! 



Information Security and Data Protection Consultant at Sigma Technology