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Data Subject Meaning

Paige Harris Mar 1, 2022 8:00:00 AM

With the implementation of data privacy legislation such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), being familiar with related terminology is more crucial than ever.

The term “data subject” refers to a person that a business collects information about. This information can be anything from a name and/or home address to payment details. 

Understanding data subjects is essential for e-commerce companies since they need to have a plan in place to handle a Subject Access Request (SAR) in GDPR if any crop up. They also need to put together a data subject access request process to stay compliant with privacy laws.

This guide will run through the essentials, so you are fully versed in the area of data subjects and how to tackle your privacy policy.


The Privacy Policy Dictionary: GDPR And Beyond

Before you build a policy, it helps to have a firm grasp on the language of data privacy. 

For example, there are strict rules about charging a DSAR request cost. But you first need to know what this term means. This understanding could make a big difference to your business if you ever need to deal with it.

Let's look at some of the terminology and what it all means:

  • Data processing: The GDPR, which governs European Union (EU) enterprises, is all about data processing and any actions that rely on the data collected. This includes organizing data and/or storing it in a customer database.
  • Data subject: As we've explained above, a data subject is a person whose data you're collecting.
  • Data controller: The individual or entity managing personal data processing.
  • Data retention period: The amount of time you keep data, whether you're processing it or not.

All of these phrases tie in with GDPR rules, so you need to know what counts as data, who you're collecting it from, why you need this information, and how you'll comply with the law.


How To Create A Future-Proof Privacy Policy

There are many ways to make sure you're GDPR compliant. Typically, this involves having a set of terms and conditions (T&Cs) and a privacy policy on your website or app.

Privacy policies aren't optional. You must have one if you collect personal information from users, even if it’s only a single detail.

Although you can include a section on data privacy, T&Cs are different. They inform customers about cancellation policies, the conditions of sale, and copyright protection.

It's also necessary to work out which rules apply in different situations. For example:

  • GDPR applies throughout the EU and deals with data processing.
  • The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is only relevant if you collect customer data in California.
  • Protection of Personal Information (POPI) is the equivalent regulation in South Africa.
  • Lei Geral de Proteção de Dados (LGPD) works similarly in Brazil.

If you sell anything online in these locations, the law applies. And you need to have a privacy policy covering all applicable regulations.

That can be tricky because, for example, a retailer with clients in California and France will need to make sure they've covered everything in both the GDPR and CCPA.


The Easy Way To Create A Customized Privacy Policy

Business owners with a lot on their plates can find it hard to make time to dive into the complexities of privacy laws, even though compliance is vital to safeguard a company.

Enzuzo provides a free privacy policy tool to simplify compliance and help you do business with confidence. All you need to do is:

  • Answer a few questions about your business, website or app.
  • Let them know where you're based.
  • Identify the types of personal data you collect or process.
  • Pop in your email address. 
  • Watch your new privacy policy land in your inbox!

Our customization tools are an effortless way to tailor your privacy policy to your brand. Be confident that if a regulator comes knocking or a data subject sends you an inquiry, you'll know what exactly to do.

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