The need for data privacy is nothing new or unique to the digital age. Our personal information has been at risk for many decades. Personal data has been collected, manipulated, and shared or sold for decades, then manipulated further for profit by banking institutions, product manufacturers, political parties, nonprofit organisations, ad agencies, polling groups, airlines, grocery stores, credit agencies, and many others.
As end-users on the technology spectrum, few among us pay attention to data privacy beyond knowing not to share our passwords with anyone. We trust software and data services providers to be the guardians of the personal data they collect and require from us in exchange for the right to use their products and services. But the personal information collected by companies today is not regarded as private by default, with few exceptions.
The unpleasant truth is that most people who have access to our personal data do not need it. These digital strangers with legitimate access to our personal data are the very people we should be preventing from accessing our personal information because they do not need it. Data Privacy Day is an important wake-up call for anyone who is ‘on the grid,’ meaning, they use any type of digital device for any reason, and thinks having spam software and firewalls are keeping their data safe.
Data Privacy Day reminds us to treat personal information like money. It has value and we need to protect it as if our lives depended on it because sometimes they do.
Source: Data Privacy Day
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