By Gonzalo Matheu
Data privacy is the right of an individual to have control over how personal information is collected and used. It is also concerned about how organizations handle, process, store and use personal information.
Today Data Privacy Day (https://staysafeonline.org/data-privacy-day/about-dpd/) is celebrated, which is a global effort that generates awareness about the importance of privacy, highlights easy ways to protect personal information and reminds organizations that privacy is good for business.
In the digital age, we, as individuals, usually feel a lack of control over our personal information. These are a few basic tips that will make you take more informed decisions about it:
● Personal info is like money: Value it. Protect it. Personal information, such as your purchase history, IP address, or location, has tremendous value to businesses. Make informed decisions about whether to share your data or not.
● Keep an eye on your apps: Be thoughtful about who gets personal information, and wary of apps that require access to information that is not required or relevant for the services they are offering.
● Manage your privacy settings. Check the privacy and security settings on web services and apps and set them to your comfort level for information sharing.
It is also part of businesses’ responsibility to respect their clients’ privacy. Nowadays being proactive about collected information increases trust and reputation. These are a few tips for that:
● Make sure the personal data you collect is processed fairly and only collected for relevant and legitimate purposes.
● Respect the “right to be forgotten”, for instance deleting personal information when a user requires that.
● Educate your employees of their and your organization’s obligations to protecting personal information.
● Be open and honest about how you collect, use and share clients’ personal information. Notify users in case data has been compromised.
● Maintain oversight of partners and vendors.
Again, these kinds of policies are everywhere (marketplaces, streaming services, applications, etc) and we naturally accept them. In part, sharing personal information allows businesses provide a higher quality and more customized service.
There is nothing wrong with accepting or rejecting these policies because you do not agree with them, it is only important to be aware of it and conscious of what information you are sharing. Even “if you have nothing to hide” (*) it is important to be aware, it is not about hiding the information, it is about protecting it.
*: The “I have nothing to hide argument, so I do not care of it” is one of the commonest arguments when talking about data privacy.