What comes to your mind when you hear Privacy and data security? Both of these terms are interlinked but have different meaning to everyone. When I say different then I mean the meaning of privacy depends on which side you are. There are two sides respectively. The first side is people. Irrespective of what you do, everyone should worry about protecting privacy and data security. The other side is organizations of all types. The structure may be different but they are always behind your privacy. These organizations want to know your secrets. They key organizations involved in the business of privacy are government of a country, terrorist organizations and companies of all types. Sometimes knowingly but many times unknowingly they breach your privacy.
In this article, we will try to unfold all the possible layers of data privacy, importance of privacy and some other aspects. At the end of the articles, I will answer some most common question that should come to your mind.
What is Privacy of an Individual and what is right to privacy?
In simple terms, it is the right to keep your information safe. Two conditions are important in this case. First of all, you get a choice to select your personal thoughts / opinions and acquire other information as per your choice. In the second condition, no one gets access to your personal information without permission. When both conditions are true then we believe that you have right to privacy. The idea is to protect your personal information from getting public.
Data protection for small business
If you are running a small business then data protection should be your top priority. Smallest of mistakes can lead to big disasters. Hackers love to breech small business data protection. There is lot of data and information to steal. Client information, financial data, email login credentials are soft target for data theft. Due to this you should always stay active. You can reduce chances of business failure by preventing data theft.
Importance of Privacy Protection Act
With the word “Act” I refer to a law to protect personal information. Note one thing before you go into an argumentative mode that we are talking about democracies. Therefore, keep your focus limited to the democratic countries in the world. Citizens of every democratic country want their personal information to remain with them. But in most cases, it does not happen. Even in the countries like USA, companies steal data and your personal information in the name of social media accounts and mobile app.
Most people do not read the terms and conditions mentioned in the policy draft. They simply click on I Agree and move on. As a result, companies keep a close watch on what you do on your phone and internet. Due to this we need strong privacy protection acts all over the world. At least for the democratic countries.
Why companies need your personal data? How do they steal data with approval?
The main objective of a company is to make money in business. Money comes from selling products or services. Some companies sell products in international market. Before you start blaming companies stealing data consider these points.
1 – First of all sales itself is not easy. Hiring a sales executive to sell a product is only among initial steps.
2 – You cannot make a successful business if you do not know how to sell. Data analysis gives a clear picture about what customer wants.
3 – Due to this many companies buy customer data from various sources. There are many companies selling databases.
4 – the next step is to analyze the data. There are thousands of ways to filter a data. Due to this the main objective is to convert raw data into meaningful information. What we get as a result depends on quality of data or information at hand.
5 – Now it is time to contact customers and pitch products of their interest.
Prevent Data Loss – Don’t lose personal data due to negligence and ensure data security?
Everyone uses internet but how many of us read terms and conditions for a mobile app (for example). Most of us do not read them.
If you ask someone to share their personal information, very few to none will be ready to provide this kind on information.
Due to this companies use easy way. They give you something for free and take access to your personal data from social media accounts and mobile applications.
As I said above, most people click on I Agree button easily. From this time onwards, companies start collecting data related to you interests. Your name, phone number, email ID and other contact details are already available. Facebook is a good example of data management. The monitor all your information carefully and send to the analytics team. Due to this you see recommendations of your interest. Small businesses use Facebook Ads Manager to target customers. Convenience comes at a cost. You believe Facebook is free but indirectly the company is making lot of money from your data.
How personal data comes in public domain?
As per my experience there are two categories of user database available in public domain. These are also the most common threats for data security.
In first case an individual gives approval of using personal data. For example, when you register on an ecommerce website, you accept company policies. Many ecommerce companies sell user database to third party companies. From there data comes in public domain and anyone can buy data online in low price.
In the other case where companies take customer data protection seriously. You can take banks as an example. Your precious financial data is stored in bank database. Hackers across the world are working round the clock to breach into bank security and many times they are successful. Millions of bank customers loose data is not an unknown reality. We get many calls when the caller already has lot of information first hand. They only ask you to authenticate the information.
There are many frauds happen where the caller just needs an OTP sent on your mobile number. As soon as you tell them the one time password, your hard earned money is at risk. Some banks and financial institutions offer two step authentication but this also fails in many cases. Due to this privacy of a person is very important.
How privacy protection law can help?
First of all a privacy protection law gives right to protect personal information. In this type of act companies cannot use your data without your permission. Additionally, you get power to choose your thoughts and feelings.
There is lot of information that we want to remain private. For example, health related information and bank account details or financial data. In some cases a privacy protection law can also ensure personal safety. You can do this by not allowing anyone to access your GPS information.
Other than this there is a legal aspect. You can ask for compensation if your bank or any company fails to protect your data. These kind of laws are really helpful but there is also a dark side.
How Governments use your personal data manipulate election results?
Governments also collect lot of data related to health, profession and other things. In other words, government maintains all your data in the name of national security. In first glance this should look ok to most of us. But the reality is different and there are both Good or bad sides of the story.
What is Good about government maintaining citizen database?
There is absolutely nothing wrong if a government asks you to provide data.
If the authorities have accurate data, then they can easily connect with you. Information available in government database is a great ways of serving people. If the government is running direct benefit scheme then data creates ways to send help in case of an emergency situation. In some regions the data is helpful in providing support to the citizen.
How do I check who can steam my data?
There are many potential threats to privacy and reasons for hacking. Due to this it is tough to know exactly who is hacking into the system. But you can do an identity check before using a website or installing application on mobile. You can you can check if the website is fake or real. Many companies who claim to protect privacy of person are fake. With fake claims of data privacy and protection, they sell your personal data in open market.
The Dark Side
Most governments do not like the idea of keeping your personal data safe. Due to this they do not make strict rules for privacy protection. They use available data to manipulate election results or to win elections. Governments try to portray fake picture of their success. They run advertisements in front of you that plays a vital role in decision making process. By the time people realize that they were manipulated, they are not left with many options. Due to this you need to be very careful about everything you see on TV. There is incorrect information everywhere and you must protect your privacy.
Privacy protection is an important subject. If you live in a democratic country then you are lucky enough to think about privacy protection. You should always choose governments that respect your privacy and takes all important measures to prevent data theft. As a responsible citizen it is your responsibility to keep a close eye on what is happening with your data. If you are not concern about your privacy then you can also become victim of identity theft. It can be your health-related data, financial data or business information. Keeping information safe is one of the key rules for making profit in business. Therefore, always keep your eyes open.