Data Privacy Day January 28th

As we approach Data Privacy Day 2020it is important to reflect on these great leaps forward in relation to Data Privacy. However, in the last decade we have also seen giant data breaches.

In 2013, Target was subject to a data breach in that exposed 40 million pounds in credit and debit card accounts. In the same year, 152 million records were stolen from Adobe in a data breach. More recently, in 2017 LinkedIn accused hiQ of data scraping their user’s personal information. HiQ have were granted a preliminary injunction, to which LinkedIn have appealed.  

So, looking ahead, what can we as individuals do to be better protect ourselves from data privacy threats, on a day-to-day basis? 

Data Privacy: Social Media

In the process of creating online profiles for social media, platforms ask for sensitive information such as your mobile number, date of birth and other personal information. How much information is shared is completely up to the user but what do the policies of these platforms say about your personal data?

Facebook declare in their Data Policy that, ‘[they] collect the content, communications and other information you provide when you use our Products, including when you sign up for an account, create or share content and message or communicate with others’.

Twitter states on their Location Information, ‘we may collect, use, and store additional information about your location - such as your current precise position or places where you’ve previously used Twitter’. Finally, Snapchat expressed, ‘Of course, you’ll also provide us whatever information you send through our services, such as Snaps and Chats’.

So, in the words of Snapchat’s privacy policy…’Don’t send messages or share content that you wouldn’t want someone to save or share’. This also applies to the information you volunteer when creating online profiles on any social media platform.

Data Privacy: Adjust Your Settings

On every social media platform there are privacy settings that you can turn on and off and adjust so that you are completely comfortable with who has access to your personal data. These settings can mean being able to change who can see your future posts, who can look you up using your email address, whether you want search engines outside of the platform to link to your profile and more.

As for your location settings, you can change them so that the platform stops building lists of precise locations you’ve accessed the platform on. On Snapchat, you can turn on Ghost Mode to ensure that people won’t be able to see your location on SnapMaps.

If you want to know more about each individual site, check their terms and conditions and make sure that you’re comfortable with what you have agreed to.

Data Privacy: Your Devices

There are ways you can keep your data protected within your devices, whether that be your smart phone or work computer. One of the main ways you can protect your data and overall security is by updating your software. By doing this, you are ensuring that any bugs that could hinge on the security of your device, are gone. Having strong passwords and security systems installed can also protect your overall security, and therefore your privacy.

Additionally, if you go on to the Privacy settings on your device, you can alter your location services. This can put you in control of your own privacy, by accepting and declining the use of your location, rather than having location services on always for every application on your devices.

You can also adjust your settings regarding the advertisements that you see. On most smartphones there is an opt-out setting called ‘Limit Ad Tracking’, which, if disabled means you won’t receive targeted advertisements based on your personal data.

Data Privacy: Be Aware

Whether you’re online shopping, sharing a picture on social media or using an app, make sure you consider your data privacy. When you share on social media, share wisely and consider whether you are happy with that information being collected and stored.

Data Privacy Day