Data privacy is an issue that has increased exponentially in recent years. Especially the widespread use of the Internet, the fact that all services have become mobile, and being able to make all kinds of purchases online cause us to share our data with third parties like technology companies that we have never known.
So, is the data we share based on a hypothetical trust as a customer or user confidential and secure, as mentioned in the privacy policies institutions share on their websites?
Why did personal data, which no one cared about until very recently, become a billion-dollar asset in the market? How skeptical or relaxed should we be about this?
These questions have become much more evident with the advertisements we are exposed to in different ways from many other digital and social media after a word searched on google, causing us to question.
DATA PRIVACY DAY
The Council of Europe declared World Data Privacy Day in 2006 to ensure the development of awareness of this issue in society. The date of January 28 is based on the signing of the “Convention on the Protection of Individuals Against Automatic Processing of Personal Data” by the Council of Europe in 1981 to prevent the abuse of this situation by large companies, realizing the vulnerability of individuals to the processing of personal data.
WHAT IS DATA PRIVACY?
Data privacy governs how the personal data we share as individuals is collected, used, stored, managed, and shared with third parties and even how it is destroyed.
On the other hand, data privacy is about more than just the proper processing of data. It also includes protecting the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals, in particular the privacy of private life, and regulating the obligations of the people processing personal data and the procedures and principles to be followed.
WHY IS DATA PRIVACY IMPORTANT?
As individuals, we can say that our data, which is collected, processed, and sold to third-party companies by governments and technology giant companies, offers not too wrong predictions about our diseases, the drugs we use, our behavioral tendencies, who we are at the end of the day, and our personality projection for the future. In this case, we, as individuals, seem to be utterly defenseless from among the giants.
In the current era, technology companies have created a new world by destroying the dominance of the world’s giants. Today, the most critical asset in the valuation of a technology company is the customer data collected. Even this means that data is an asset worth protecting and storing.
From the cookie permissions to the application download conditions we accept, we see that our data is products in a billion-dollar market and are transferred between world giants for high prices or turned into products.
When we look at the data privacy violation penalties, we can quickly see how valuable our data is.
In April 2018, London-based data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica accused Facebook of influencing the November 2016 presidential elections in the United States and the June 2016 European Union (EU) Referendum in England with the unauthorized collection of personal data from the accounts of Facebook’s 87 million users. These accusations caused a global crisis.
Later, it was claimed that Facebook shared the personal data of its users with giant companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Spotify without their consent and that the amount of data was more significant than Facebook announced.
At the end of this process, Meta agreed to close the case by paying $ 725 million. When we look at the data privacy violation penalties, we can quickly see how valuable our data is, and the Facebook scandal is just one of them that has been reflected in public.
These examples show us what our data can do if it falls into the wrong hands. It is valuable enough to change the fate of one of the most developed countries in the world. Such a great power can be used as a manipulation tool in the wrong hands and turn into a power that controls the decisions we think we make. Although it looks like a Black Mirror episode, when we turn off the TV and computer, we all look at that black mirror.
Well, what can we do about this, then?
WHAT ARE OUR RIGHTS REGARDING DATA PRIVACY?
Seeing the vulnerability of individuals in this matter and being obligated to protect their legal rights, the states took action. They came up with legal regulations regulating data privacy, saying that we, the original owner of the data, also have a voice in matters such as collecting and processing data.
These legal regulations, which are based on the privacy of our constitutional rights, revealed that we, as individuals, should be much more authorized about our data.
Some and the most important ones are:
Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act of 2000 (PIPEDA)
General Data Protection Regulation of 2018 (GDPR)
The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA)
The California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 (CPRA)
Our data belongs to us, just like our personal computers. This means that we have full ownership rights over our data. The personal data we share is still our property. We only allow them to be processed and used within legal regulations and companies’ privacy policies. This allows us to take back our data and request its deletion.
We also have the right to demand that all kinds of personal data that we have shared in the past and that we have allowed to be collected and processed be destroyed and deleted from the web environment within the framework of the privacy of private life and the right to be forgotten.
In short, we have much more rights to our data that already belong to us than we think. Being sensitive about personal data and being aware of our rights, instead of being individuals running around in the middle of the chaos, will be able to protect us.
HAPPY WORLD DATA PRIVACY DAY!