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International Data Privacy Day: What you should be aware of as a FinTech business

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What is Data Privacy Day? The purpose of the day is to raise awareness and promote privacy and data protection best practices. It is currently observed in the United States, Canada, Israel and 47 European countries.

It's been running since 2006 and takes place on the same date each year on 28th January. 

Data Privacy for FinTech

The FinTech sector is one of the biggest and ever-changing industries, with more companies becoming increasingly adventurous with their strategies, and this also includes smaller companies taking on big data to disrupt the market. But this has certain implications for data privacy.

Read: FinTech trends to look out for in 2020.


Much like everyone else, those working in the FinTech sector have the big consideration of GDPR to think about on Data Privacy Day. Some would say this is the benchmark for data protection, considering the impact it had on the marketing and data sectors early in 2018. 

FinTech offers clear opportunity for a new, more efficient, effective, and dare I say, human approach to finance, but it can also represent hidden risk — see Revolut's involvement in a dispute in 2018 over money laundering claims and non-compliance.


Digital Only Banking

Building on from GDPR, digital banking or 'digibanks' as the key proponents such as Revolut, Monzo and Starling are considered are taking over the banking world.

P2P transfers and a digital only landscape means that the FinTech industry is not only at the heart of this movement, but also needs to be ready for changes in the future.

Importantly, CACI says 42% of high-income professionals will be moving away from desktop banking to mobile channels within the next five years.

The rise of these online banks has brought to light the importance of data privacy, especially for FinTech companies.



Blockchain has become a growing aspect of ensuring that all data is transparent and has become the go-to tool for FinTech companies to utilise in easing data protection concerns today.

Forbes defined Blockchain as:

'a special immutable computer file that is decentralised and distributed, is disrupting financial institutions.'

And this has many implications on the FinTech industry today.. Blockchain is essentially the new combatant of banking and digital fraud. Estimated to reach $6,700m in the US by 2023.

In simple terms, Blockchain is the technology that underpins digital currency (Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and the like). The tech allows digital information to be distributed, but not copied. 

Industry Sanctions

Finally, with the tightening of laws under GDPR comes stringent sanctions for anyone who doesn't comply with the rules around data protection.

No less important on any other day, however on Data Privacy Day it's vital that the consequences of complying with data law is recognised — no more so than in the booming FinTech industry.

The fines and sanctions imposed on big companies can be as high as €20 million, or 4 per cent of their overall turnover.

Fines for minor offences, such as not keeping records in order or failing to notify the supervisory authorities, will be set at 2 per cent of the overall turnover.

Read: The Essential Guide to the FinTech Marketing Industry

With so much digital information available for Fintech firms to use and analyse, it is imperative that regulatory bodies like the FCA continue to question how Big Data is being used. A big advocate of this is the continued promotion of Data Privacy Day.

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