Every January 28th in the United States is Data Privacy Day. Sponsored by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), it strives to bring awareness to online threats to your data privacy.
Read on for an example of how your personal health information may be out in the open.
What is Data Privacy?
Data privacy is the relationship between you and your data. It is a digital extension of your offline life.
As our online and offline lives blur, we must treat data privacy the same as our physical privacy.
We can all understand privacy in the real world. There are places and times which you do not want to be subject to scrutiny. Some view privacy as a basic human right. Others as a psychologically healthy disposition. Still others are paranoid. Regardless of who you are, privacy is key to our mental health.
Personal Responsibility – Own Your Data
Data is Money – consider it a new kind of global currency
Everyone is familar with the saying “Time is Money”. While still true, have you considered that “Data is Money”? Your data, in particular, is worth a lot of money.
Today’s increasingly digital landscape has explosive amounts of data being created, stored, analyzed, sold, etc. that carries a large price tag to it. It can be hard at the individual level how this can add up to vast sums of money.
Business – Respect Privacy of Individuals
For business the ask is quite simple: if you collect it you must protect it. Only collect what is necessary and safeguard it. Be transparent about who you share people’s data with, why, and what can be done to limit it. This extends to partners and other business agents.
Most data collected about you is not relevant to the function of the collecting business.
People are trusting you, knowingly or unknowingly, with a treasure trove of their data – treat it as you would your CEO’s purchase history, IP address, location, etc.
GoodRx Health Data Breach
GoodRx, a popular drug savings mobile app and website, failed to properly protect user data. They failed to alert their users that their personal health information collected while on the site / app would be shared with 3rd parties. The company was deceptive about the information they collected and how they would handle it. Allegedely this had been going on for years after just recently being discovered.
An example cited in the FTC complaint was they shared medicines you took or even just searched for and sold them to large social media companies and data brokers to market to you. Creepy to think that you typing in a medicine or condition just to read about it then receive Facebook ads recommending you a trial sample.
Summary – Data Privacy is Good for You
Protect your data privacy. Take control of your privacy settings, what you choose to disclose online, and the apps you download onto your phone. Treat your data like money because, especially to others, it is a valuable resource.
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If you liked this post then you might also like my previous Data Privacy Day post.
Do you care about your privacy? Then YOU need to use a VPN.