Data Privacy and Consumer Protection in the Context of iGaming

Cybersecurity is one of the most important things that many modern businesses must pay attention to. Whether their operations are confined to the digital space or not, nearly 100 percent of these businesses will inevitably process personal data about their customers. This makes data protection and privacy rights vital.

When it comes to the iGaming space, it goes without saying that the heavily-regulated nature of the sector also means that it must comply with other laws. These include such things as fraud prevention, anti-money laundering as well as data privacy.

Software Engineer Standing Beside Server Racks

The Dark Side of iGaming

Often the first thing that comes to mind when we think about the dark side of the internet is cybercriminals. That is justified because they are usually the cause of most of the trouble we face while playing online.

Cybercriminals have a lot to gain from stealing or compromising the personal data of online gamers. For instance, having access to a user’s log-in detail could not only lead to identity theft but also loss of funds. Even in the case of free-to-play casino games where only virtual items exist, hackers could find ways of swapping them for real cash. That could still be devastating for the players who often invest lots of time and emotion into them.

Gambling accounts also usually contain a solid amount of information that can be used to identify users. This is even more important than the funds or in-game items that could be lost or compromised. Even more disturbing is the fact that it is not just malicious third parties that players need to worry about. Sometimes, the operators themselves may use the data in ways that may be harmful to their users. Irresponsible targeting advertising is a great example.

The Current Legal Landscape

We can agree that all aspects of cybersecurity are critical aspects of our digital lives. Regardless of the context, it is also quite clear that these are yet to be addressed in a comprehensive manner in the United States and many other places. This does not mean that there is no progress.

One of the greatest leaps forward in this regard is the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which came into effect back in 2018. This ushered a whole new era in the way personal data is processed. The United States does not have something similar at the federal level. Everything is a little fragmented at the moment with several laws addressing cybersecurity and data protection in very specific ways.

The biggest problem with the fragmentation is that the existing laws tend to speak to very diverse types of data. Moreover, they conform to very different expectations of privacy. Thankfully, state governments have been stepping in to tighten up the much-needed consumer protection controls. These should apply across the board to dictate such things as what data operators are allowed to collect and how long they get to keep that data. It also puts a bit of rationale to the way advertising is targeted.

The Role of the Players

The online gambling market is one of the most vibrant markets on the planet. Its dynamic nature makes it a very elusive space for many businesses but for those that have put in the work, it is very lucrative. So, the worth and popularity make it a key target for cyber irregularities.

That said, the first role that online gamers have is to recognize the risks that come with pursuing their interests online. This helps one to get prepared for what is to come and be rational about the decisions they make going forward.

Some other steps that are just as important include looking out for information about the site they intend to visit. Reputable online casinos will, of course, have no incidents relating to breaches or misuse of user data. Similarly, the terms and conditions need to be very clear. Analyzing and understanding the scope of data collected by any site is also very important. We cannot emphasize that enough.

As if that is not enough, players need to go the extra mile when it comes to ensuring the security of their funds and data. Additional security software often comes in handy in adding an extra layer of protection. After all, your online security begins with you. Sometimes it is as simple as steering clear of sites that require a suspicious amount of sensitive personal info.

What the Future Holds for Data Protection

We have come very far as far as consumer protection is concerned. However, it can never really be enough considering the dynamic nature of the digital and gaming environments. As such, the most important thing will be legal and regulatory flexibility. That way, we can always rest assured that laws, regulations and ethics are always working for the greater good.

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