What Is Data Privacy Day?
January 28 is Data Privacy Day, a national holiday surrounding the protection of data. It was first recognized by the United States in 2009 and is focused on raising awareness among businesses and consumers about the importance of protecting the privacy of personal information online. It is currently observed in over 50 countries around the world.
The origin of this “holiday” is to celebrate the first legally binding international treaty dealing with protection of personal data: Convention 108, signed January 28, 1981. This treaty was one of the stepping stones giving rise to the most notable modern-day data policy, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This policy focuses on the protections that business must uphold and the rights of consumers and users to have “ownership” of their own personal data.
Importance of Data Privacy
Consumer data privacy concern is becoming increasingly more mainstream. It seems that often, a new corporate data breach makes the headlines. These breaches that hit the news represent only a small fraction of the breaches that occur. Most companies are not required by law or regulation to report data breaches, which means the acknowledgment of missing or stolen data will never make national news. It’s left up to the consumer to protect and secure one’s own personal information. As a consumer, it’s critical that you protect yourself. Even with the existing government regulation regarding personal information, technology (and the ability to manipulate it) will continue to evolve faster than government and regulation.
What about businesses? A topic not yet in the public spotlight is commercial identity fraud. Businesses present a far bigger target for fraudsters. Most business information is more readily available on public sites such as the Secretary of State. Most businesses also have deeper pockets than individuals. However, to many small business owners, their personal information and their business information are one and the same. Owner-operators and sole proprietors must mindfully protect both: fraud executed on the individual or the business could be equally devastating.
Preventing Data Breaches
Whether a business or a consumer, data is vital; protecting that data is paramount to the success of your business, as well as your individual wellbeing. Your data is your responsibility and you must remain vigilant when it comes to protecting it. Know whom you give your data to and what their intentions are for using that data. Keep data updated and regularly check that it’s being used in a manner consistent with the original intent. Be mindful of who your data is shared with, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s your data and you have a right to know. By keeping a close relationship with your data and those who store it, you can help identify and prevent fraud on both fronts.
January 28 serves as a reminder that we should all take stock in how and where our personal data is being used. As a business, we also must do our part to protect the data that we hold and use.
Data Privacy Day (DPD) is sponsored in the US by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NSCA).
StaySafeOnline.org is a website dedicated to increasing awareness about data security and data privacy. Many useful tips can be found here and well as up to date news and events related to the topic.