What is Data Privacy? Knowing & Protecting Rights Online

November 17 02:00 2018

What is data privacy? In May 2018, the European Union (EU) implemented the General Data Protection Regulation, more commonly known as the GDPR.

The most important change in data privacy regulations over the last 20 years, the GDPR doesn’t just affect websites within the EU, but all websites that collect, process, and store data from EU residents. While larger websites have been scrambling to be among the first adapters, lest they be penalized, this regulation essentially affects the whole internet. At some point, even the smallest website will have a visitor from the EU.

This regulation is a game changer because it puts structure and consequence to something important that’s been constantly taken lightly: data privacy.

When it comes to understanding the answer to the question, “What is data privacy?”, it helps to first understand why data privacy is important.

Why Data Privacy is Important

There’s no denying that today’s world is a digital one. Every little thing that you do, requiring the use of smartphones and internet access (like signing up for a website, sending an email, ordering items online or even just doing a quick Google search) makes up your digital footprint.

A digital footprint gives insight into a person’s online identity. It’s something important to take note of because anything posted online is permanent and is recorded in some way, regardless of attempted deletion.

Cultivating a positive online image is important for individuals because nowadays, universities and employers also look into a person’s online persona when considering them for admission or a job.

Here are some of the top reasons why data privacy is important:

Safety

First and foremost, safety is a top concern in data privacy. Statistics show that cybercrime increases year-to-year. Although online security measures are improving, hackers are also continuously adapting: finding and creating new ways to extract data.

These cybercriminals have a lot of incentive to do so: to ruin a person’s life, or simply using the identity for their own gain — like stealing money or doing something illegal with the person’s identity.

Ensuring Fairness of Service

One reason to be mindful of your digital footprint is the fact that third-parties can trace your digital footprint and use this information for commercial use.

Aside from collecting demographic information, social networking sites like Facebook collect information about your various likes and dislikes to build a profile about you. Advertisers pay them to deliver targeted ads to people that fit their desired profile.

While there’s nothing wrong with advertisers trying to optimize data to increase sales, it becomes anissue when data is used to give an unfair advantage in events that require unbiased decision-making, like elections. #Fakenews, anyone?

On that note, don’t you find it a little unsettling to think that third parties that collect data (such as social networking sites) profit largely over something that you’ve shared in confidence, without ensuring that this information is secure?

Case in point: in 2018, the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal blew up. To explain what happened in a nutshell, the personal data of some 87 million Facebook users were harvested, which many believe was used to influence the outcomes of some major events — like the 2016 US Presidential elections and the Brexit vote.

Data Privacy is a Right

Lastly, data privacy is a right.

Two things that the GDPR promotes is transparency and empowering users to have more control over their data. That said, although companies collecting data should be held accountable for the data they collect from users, at the end of the day, the sharing and management of each person’s data is their own responsibility.

Users must know what data is being processed and why it’s being processed to ensure that their data is secure. At the same time, they should keep companies in check, holding them accountable for the safety and security measures used.

How to Manage Your Digital Footprint & Protect Your Data

Take control of the personal data you’ve shared with the world. Here are some ways you can manage your digital footprint and protect your data:

  • Google yourself (in an incognito window). Though it sounds a bit vain, Googling yourself can give you a basic idea of what others see when they search for your name. If there are any photos, accounts, or information that can incriminate you or ruin your online persona, at least you’ll be aware and can do something about them.
  • Keep track of all online accounts. After doing a quick Google search on yourself, you’ll have some material to do an audit of your online accounts. Delete the ones you don’t use, and from now on, be mindful of the ones you do decide to continue using.
  • Use privacy settings. When you sign up for a new service, check the ‘Settings’ or ‘Manage My Account’ every so often for various ways to protect your privacy and delete old data.
  • Limit the personal information you input when signing up for an account. Know that you don’t always have to fill in all the fields and that you can always question about why the company needs a certain piece of information that you don’t think is relevant.

Other good online practices include logging off your accounts after use, keeping your passwords secure, and constantly changing your passwords.

Lastly, avoid sharing too much on social media. It’s easy to overshare, especially when others are doing the same. You might feel compelled to do so to keep up. Sometimes, people overshare because they’re feeling emotional, do not have an outlet, or just want sympathy or attention from their online pals.

Whatever the reason may be, try not to post when you are feeling overly emotional. Process these feelings first and assess what others have to gain from your share. Assess the potential ramifications of posting anything online.

For example, will posting about your ex-boyfriend’s cheating ways really help you get over the pain? Consider this: will your post hurt his reputation more than it will hurt yours? Will this matter a year from now? If not, then it’s not worth it.

Final Thoughts: What is Data Privacy? Knowing Your Rights & Protecting Yourself Online

If you must discuss something personal, private, or sensitive, the best way is to do so in person. If that isn’t possible, then private messaging functions are preferable to a public post on the topic.

The problem with most messaging applications is that they require users to sign up for an account. This involves entering your email address or phone number to verify your identity. Another downside is that many chat applications can be hacked. In these situations, it’s not just your private conversations that can be stolen, but also your personal details.

The solution to these issues? InnerGroup Messaging App.

One of the most private and secure messaging applications to date, it does not require email addresses or telephone numbers to sign up: only your first and last name. It guarantees that only the people invited to a conversation will receive corresponding messages, and that the users invited to a group own the messages.

Inner Group App is like the Snapchat of messaging apps. Messaging data is not stored, so there are no traces of your conversations left online. The best part? No ads and servers to collect your data!

Curious about the InnerGroup Messaging App. It is now available for download on the App Store, Mac App Store, and Google Play Store. Give it a try today!

Media Contact
Company Name: InnerGroup
Contact Person: Sonny Porpiglia
Email: Send Email
Country: United States
Website: http://www.innergroupapp.com/

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