In today’s digital age, information is the new currency. With everyday activities increasingly carried out in the online space, from search and social media to email and ecommerce, the need for more progressive guidelines on data privacy is of utmost importance.
It is true that companies and government agencies already collect our information, even before we’ve begun to browse the Internet or use mobile devices. We’ve already been in the system since birth, and our seemingly mundane daily activities like paying taxes, making regular phone calls, or using a credit card all collect information, updating a database that keeps track of our history and habits better than we do.
That the world has gone digital only makes data collection so much easier. Or browsing habits can be inferred from our web browsers, and our preferences are analyzed by ecommerce sites and search engines. The information we give allows marketers to better push relevant products and services without us even knowing. If information is power, then checks and balances are required to draw limits and boundaries to ensure that our data is used for the greater good.
Especially with advances in the Internet of Things, Big Data, and other upcoming future technologies, our increased connectivity as a society has, on one hand, given us tremendous benefits and conveniences. While on the other hand, it has also prompted an increased urgency to better manage the flow of personal data through various information systems.
This is the reason why data privacy is such a big deal. More than just the proper handling of our personal details, more than limiting the power of government or corporate entities over our information, data privacy is about building trust. That people will prefer to do business and have a better connection with privately held companies, as well as government agencies, that have their best interests in mind.
Through this infographic prepared by TechJury, let’s have a quick review on what sort of personal data some of the more popular online services and social media sites collect from us as users, and how they use this information. We’ll also have a look at some of the more recent setbacks and incidents that have prompted closer scrutiny at current data privacy policies, and what we can proactively do ourselves to ensure our safety online.