International Data Privacy Day!
A day to spread awareness on the importance of keeping your data private
January 28th, 2023 has been designated as International Data Privacy Day, which is defined as “an international effort to create awareness about the importance of respecting privacy, safeguarding data, and enabling trust.” As internet usage has increased so has the importance of data privacy. Website, applications, and social media platforms store our personal data in order to provide services. This has undoubtedly brought forth issues related to data privacy.
In today’s day and age, there is hardly anyone who does not have a digital footprint. We use the internet on a daily basis whether it is conducting searches on Google, using social media accounts, or subscribing to various web-based platforms. Whether we realize it or not we are basically feeding data pertaining to us to these companies. For instance, if you have a social media profile you are putting your data out there in the virtual universe, i.e., your photos, videos, etc. If you buy something on an e-commerce website, you are giving them your address. Even companies that might not necessarily be internet-based hold our data. Think about your cellular phone company which has your call records or your credit card company which knows where you do your shopping. This data can tell others a lot about who you are.
It has become well known that oftentimes such storage of data can leave users with less privacy than they expected. Oftentimes certain entities might not adequately protect the data they collect, which can result in a data breach thereby compromising the users’ privacy. It is also important to remember that data is big business. Social media companies, for instance, are known to sell your data to other parties. You might be wondering who would want to buy your data. A lot of people, it turns out. Advertisers, for instance, might be interested in this data so they know what to advertise and to whom.
Another thing to be cognizant of is that there are also parties and individuals out there who would want to misuse this personal data such as criminals who want to use your identity, or even repressive governments who want to track your activities and movement. So, what can be done to ensure that our privacy is respected? This is where Data Privacy laws and regulations come in. Data Privacy is essentially the ability to control the release and sharing of your personal information. Data Privacy laws seek to regulate what kind of data can be collected and how that data can be used as well as stored and protected.
The United States does not have a single uniform federal statute but rather an array of statutes that cover different aspects of data privacy. One such regulation is the California Consumer Privacy Act which is a California state statute. This statute mandates that consumers be made aware of what personal data is collected, to whom it’s being sold or disclosed, and also grants them a right to deny permission to organizations to sell their data. Legislators around the world understand the importance of data privacy as well, and therefore there are data privacy regulations around the world. In fact, according to the United Nations, 137 out of 194 countries have enacted some type of data privacy legislation. One such regulation is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This regulation covers the European Union and dictates how data of individuals can be collected, stored, and processed.
Businesses, websites, and organizations holding any type of data should take special note of any applicable data privacy regulations. Failure to comply with data privacy regulations can lead to legal liability and/or financial penalties against any entity found to be in breach. Here at Sullivan|Strickler we have frameworks in place to ensure that all our data restoration work is in compliance with data privacy regulations. Therefore, when you work with Sullivan|Strickler you can rest assured that all of our work complies with the law.