Difference between privacy data protection & data security

The terms “data protection” and “data security” are often used incorrectly in everyday language or used as synonyms.

A clear and uniform definition of both terms does not exist, but they differ from each other.

What is the distinction between information insurance and information security?

Every company today is confronted with the terms “data protection” and “data security” in everyday work. Certain measures and processes must be established in the company so that the goals and requirements of the two terms can be guaranteed. Many do not even know that the two concepts differ in their goals and processes.

Even if they are nevertheless close to each other in terms of content. There are many similarities between data encrypted and data security, but there are also differences that must be taken into account in practice. Many companies think that data protection is not possible without data security. This applies in some areas and above all in various company processes, but there are also measures through which data security harms data protection.

There are no uniform definitions of the two areas, as they can be defined and interpreted differently today. It is all the more important to know the basic features of the similarities and differences to be able to implement both processes sensibly in the company.

Data protection vs. data security

To be able to distinguish data protection from data security, one must understand what the two terms mean and what they stand for.


Information insurance is about the security of individual information. The focus is not on the content of the data, but on the right to informational self-determination. There is always talk of personal data when a direct personal reference can be established through the collected, processed, or used data. This can be, for example, the name, the address, or the telephone number. But also a license plate number, location, or social security number. With the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation in 2018, the legal requirements were specified and tightened. security data is therefore about the legal questions under which conditions personal data may be collected, processed, or used.

Data security

Data security deals with the general protection of data, regardless of whether it is related to a person or not. Thus, data security not only includes personal data but all data of a company. Data security is therefore not a question of whether data may be collected and processed, but what measures should be taken to guarantee information insurance. This is to ensure data security in the company. Data security is therefore a condition that should be achieved through suitable and effective measures.

Data protection and data security, therefore, go hand in hand. To be able to guarantee data is encrypted in the company, data security measures are unavoidable. Conversely, data encryption can only be achieved if measures have been taken to ensure data security. All in all, there is no data protection without data security and vice versa.

But data security can also hurt data protection: For data security, it can be advantageous to store collected data as a backup, for example on a cloud. In the event of data loss on the hard drive, it can be restored using the cloud. Saving data on a cloud is fatal for data encrypted: Because saving data on the cloud is a matter of transmission, for which there must be a legal basis or clear consent. In addition, an order data processing contract must be concluded in the event of access by IT staff, for example. A problem can thus be solved by measures in data security, which leads to a new problem in data encryption. Therefore, a structured organization and a functioning system are essential for the success of both processes.

Data protection and data security: Similarities

  • protection of data
  • data must be treated confidentially
  • Companies must make arrangements to be able to guarantee both

Data protection and data security: Differences

  • Privacy: personal data; security of data: all data
  • Protection of data: security of informational self-determination.
  • Data security: encrypted against loss, destruction, etc.
  • Encrypted data: legal regulations.
  • Data security: Find technical measures/solutions yourself

Leave a Comment