January 13, 2023

What data protection laws should luxury retailers comply with?

What data protection laws should luxury retailers comply with?

The luxury market is largely unaffected by the pandemic, inflation, and recession waves sweeping across the globe. This is not particularly surprising because the exclusive features of luxury retailing, such as high price points, limited sale items, and outlets, have distinguished it from other market segments. Luxury goods are typically exclusive personal items like clothes, cosmetics, footwear, and fashion accessories. The market’s largest segment is luxury fashion, valued at $111.50 billion in 2023.

There are, however, peculiar concerns for the industry, like changing customer expectations, selective audience planning, geopolitical events, and increasingly, data protection. In this article, you will learn more about retail data protection laws and how luxury retailers can achieve compliance with them. 

Why luxury retailers need to be aware of data protection laws:

It goes without saying that luxury items come with hefty price points. However, these prices are not arbitrary but are carefully affixed after thorough audience selection through careful data analysis. Luxury retailers, therefore, have an essential need for personal data. Data helps with geo and behavioral targeting to reach the exclusive customer bases of retailers. Data relating to the lifestyle of consumers and their spending habits are often curated to create tailored campaigns for the relevant audience.

Organizing such targeted campaigns will require that retailers obtain and use large amounts of personal data for the duration of the campaign. This data must be managed in accordance with the laws governing the relevant political region. It is a trite principle that ignorance of the law is no excuse, so retailers who refuse to be updated on retail data protection laws are most likely to break them inadvertently, which will have serious financial implications for the business.

Data privacy laws limit the scope of data that can be collected and for what purposes it can be used. These restrictions already pose a limitation for luxury retailers because they need detailed data to locate and observe their target audiences. However, luxury retailers must be aware of and meet data sovereignty compliance in order to ensure the smooth operation of their business globally.

What data is covered by regulatory laws?

Personal information, which can include names, home addresses, email addresses, payment card information, social security or other national identification numbers, browser information, and other data capable of identifying an individual, is typically considered sensitive and must be protected from unauthorized access. 

Data laws, such as the GDPR, are in place to safeguard this information from theft and other risks. Personal information can come in various formats, including physical documents, photographs, and digital sound and visual recordings. The laws of different countries specify which data requires special protection.

What data protection laws you need to know

Data protection laws vary in different countries, and global retailers must be aware of data residency requirements by country. Some countries with prominent data protection laws include:


In China, there are three primary laws that govern data protection: the Cybersecurity Law, the Data Security Law, and the Personal Information Protection Law. Let’s briefly take a look at these laws, shall we?

  • The Cybersecurity Law regulates data privacy by setting out procedures for online data protection and granting individuals certain rights, such as the right to provide and withdraw consent. 
  • The Data Security Law focuses on data security, outlining measures that data controllers must take to handle personal information. This law has also served as a basis for creating special regulations in various industries, such as financial institutions, healthcare facilities, and automotive companies. 
  • The Personal Information Protection Law, which was enacted in 2021, specifically addresses the localization of personal information belonging to residents of China. It also includes rules for cross-border data transfer and sets out the rights of individuals to consent, access, rectify, and withdraw their personal information.


The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is Europe’s umbrella legislation for data protection. It also covers data exports to countries beyond Europe. It was enacted in 2018 and is generally regarded as the strictest privacy law in the world because of the heavy penalties for non-compliance. Retail businesses within any member country of the European Union, including Great Britain, must be familiar with the provisions of the GDPR because of its application across many countries.


The UAE, being a confederation of five states, has several laws enacted for data protection. The most recent is the Federal Law No. 45 of 2021, which provides privacy and security for personal data collected within the country. Its provisions apply to legal and natural persons and include, but are not limited to, data collection, usage, security, retention, and consent management. It stipulates technical and organizational measures controllers and processors must adopt to ensure the safety of personal information. Other operating laws in the different UAE states include the following:

  • Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Data Protection Law, DIFC Law No. 5 of 2020, regulates data collection, use, and disclosure by entities operating within the DIFC obtained manually or electronically.
  • Federal Law No. 2 of 2019 for the regulation and protection of health data.
  • Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Data Protection Regulations No. 2 of 2018 for personal data processing within the ADGM.
  • The UAE Data Protection Law (UDPL) for data collection, storage, usage, and transfer by organizations.


The Act on the Protection of Personal Information (APPI) and all its supplemental provisions regulate data protection in Japan. The Act set up a Commission called the Personal Information Protection Commission (PPC) to ensure that companies comply with the Act. The PPC provided guidelines for applying the APPI provisions. These guidelines have the same binding force as the provisions themselves. They provide rules for data transfer to third parties in foreign countries, appropriate handling of specific personal information, and security measures for personal information.

South Korea:

The primary law for data protection in South Korea is the Personal Information Protection Act 2011 (as amended in 2020) and its explanatory regulations. It spells out specific procedures for government, private organizations, and individuals to follow in handling personal data throughout its lifecycle — collection, use, disclosure, and even disposal.

How luxury retailers can comply with data protection laws — InCountry’s approach

Many luxury retailers have global audiences, and where each country has a unique legal terrain for data protection, it can be difficult to stay compliant. The data localization by InCountry solution is just what luxury retailers need for real-time compliance with international data protection laws.

InCountry provides data residency-as-a-service that helps companies achieve instant compliance with data regulations. Available worldwide, InCountry has achieved major success, with companies operating in China and other Asia-Pacific countries, Middle Eastern countries, Europe, and others.

A brief look at some aspects of InCountry’s solutions:

  • Quick Implementation in Multiple Countries: InCountry’s services are available worldwide. This means that businesses that use InCountry are able to set up data residency simultaneously in many countries through the same platform.
  • Localization: InCountry is up to date with data residency and localization requirements in different countries. Our certified cloud infrastructure allows regulated sensitive data to be localized and kept safely in local data centers.
  • Security: InCountry provides the best security standards in the industry and protection measures such as high-level data encryption (SHA-256 and AES-256), firewalling, network isolation, and intrusion detection.

Want to see a complete list of our solutions that fit just right with you? You can request a demo or have a one-on-one with our experts. We will gladly partner with you to achieve data compliance for retail businesses.