It’s Data Privacy Day! In today’s age, it’s just so easy to share, from favourite recipes to photos of family outings. Social media has made sharing simple. Almost thoughtless. But are you sharing more than you know?
It began in the United States, but protecting personal information is an international effort. The point of this data protection day celebration serves to raise awareness. Knowledge is power, and the more someone knows about you, the more dangerous he or she may be. Let’s create a culture of safety and expertise.
Millions of people are uninformed about how their data is being used, collected, and shared. Data Privacy Day began to empower individuals and encourage companies to respect privacy, safeguard data and enable trust.
The types of companies most vulnerable to data privacy risks are:
- Banks, credit card companies and other players in the financial services industry.
- Retail and marketing companies.
- Social networking websites, online marketplaces, etc.
- Education (universities and colleges)
- Government agencies (voter registries, census, real estate registers, etc.)
But what about other companies? For every purchase you make online or in-person, someone asks for some information. Do they really need your phone number or email for Chapstick? Also, what are they going to do with that data? Maybe they use it to spam your email. Or do they sell it, and if so to whom?
Let’s take a closer look at why data privacy matters for individuals and companies.
Why is data privacy vital for you?
It doesn’t take very much information to cause harm. An email can lead to spamming or phishing, while a phone number can lead to “vishing” or voice phishing. Both are an attempt to either fraud you out of money or gather more personal data for identity theft.
Here are some key reasons why data privacy is crucial for you.
Sharing with Third Parties
It’s common these days to share personal data with third parties. This can include personally identifiable information (PII), such as your name, date of birth and location data. However, by handing pieces of information over to a company that doesn’t do an excellent job of safeguarding your personal data, you could be leaving yourself open to fraud.
The Legality of Sharing Personal Data
When it comes to the legality of sharing personal data, you must understand the conditions; otherwise, you may not be aware of your rights when sharing specific personal data.
The European Union has tried to simplify data protection regulations by introducing the General Data Protection Regulation. This is a lot more straightforward than the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act found in the United States, since it applies wholesale, instead of the E.U. having several privacy and security standards like the U.S.
Limit our Power
Are you comfortable giving companies and the government unlimited power over you? Well, that’s precisely what you’re doing that when you share personal information without reading the fine print.
Personal information is used to make crucial decisions in our lives. Data can be used to both help us and hurt us. It can affect our reputation and can be used to control us.
Oversharing on Social Media
Many of us share stuff on social media without giving it a second thought, but if you’re not careful, that oversharing could end up costing you. It’s relatively common for employers, romantic partners, governments and the police to view social media. If they see something that they don’t like, it could end up coming back to haunt you; that’s why you’ll want to be careful about what you share and who can see it.
How to review and update your privacy settings on any app or site you use.
Data privacy isn’t just a company’s responsibly. It’s your responsibility, too. When you sign up for something online, it’s easy to accept all the terms and conditions without taking the time to read the fine print. While that may be the easy way, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.
So, what if you’ve already granted full permission to share your personal data with an app or website? Is there anything you can do? Although you can’t go back in time and undo sharing your data, what you can do is review and update your privacy settings, so you’re not sharing data you’re not comfortable sharing.
Want to review and update your privacy settings, but don’t know how? Here are direct links to your favourite apps and websites so you can update your privacy settings yourself.
Why is data privacy important for companies?
Like individuals, data privacy is essential for companies, too. If the wrong competitor got a hold of a company’s data, he or she could do a lot of damage.
Imagine a company plans to release a new product that’s cheaper, faster and better than its competitor’s product. If that information were to fall into the hands of the company’s competitor, its competitor could use that information to come up with a product of its own to counteract it. This could lead to a lot of lost profits, just because personal information got into the hands of the wrong party.
Data privacy is also vital for trust. A lot of companies rely on personal data collection to deliver products and services that their customers want. However, without this personal data, it makes it a lot more difficult and expensive to find out what customers want. This could lead to the price of goods and services going up.
You may have noticed that the price of TV sets has dropped substantially over the last few years. This is primarily due to personal data. By sharing your data in terms of viewing habits, TV manufacturers can offer TVs at lower prices than ever before. But if consumers lose trust in companies and refuse to share this sensitive information, it makes it harder and more costly for everyone involved.
As it relates to trust, data privacy and security is also critical for companies in terms of reputation. It seems like a month hardly goes by without any significant data breaches. This can hurt a company’s reputation. Customers lose faith in the company to safeguard their sensitive data and are less willing to share it going forward. Customers may also outright refuse to deal with this company because they no longer trust them, thus, having a major impact on the company’s bottom line.