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What is the difference between data protection and data security?
Data protection and data security are often used as synonyms. However, there are some differences between these two concepts. They pursue fundamentally different goals and should therefore be used correctly.
Data protection is the protection of personal data against unauthorized access, misuse, processing, or disclosure. It also undermines the unauthorized disclosure of personally identifiable information (PII). Data protection describes the concept of safeguarding data of natural persons, and thereby ultimately protecting general personal rights and fundamental rights. Closely related to this is the question of the conditions under which data may be collected, processed and used at all.
Data security, on the other hand, generally describes the protection of data, with or without reference to individuals. This can also include the data of companies, i.e., legal entities. The question here is not whether data may be collected, but by what means and measures its protection can be guaranteed. Accordingly, the topic of data protection includes concepts for implementing security measures such as encryption, firewalls, or access controls. The focus is on confidentiality, integrity, and the availability of data.
In summary, data protection focuses on the protection of personal data, while data security refers to data in general, regardless of its content. Data protection is thus an important component of data security, which is a concept of technical measures to achieve this protection.
A simple distinction between data privacy and data security can also be made with a simple question:
Data protection: Am I allowed to process personal data? If so, how?
Data security: How can I best protect collected data?