Why Consumer Data Protection is Important?
It’s not just data breaches that are becoming a social issue. It is also the fact that data is being offered to and paid for by advertisers. From consumers to businesses and healthcare facilities to the military, the ability to access sensitive information whether it is personal, corporate or government has implications that should have everyone worried.
The 21st century has been a tumultuous period for cybercrime. The infographic below illustrates the largest data breaches in recent history with social networking sites experiencing some of the most detrimental attacks.
Here are some of the possible changes that should come into play to help protect consumers’ data:
Questionable Data Collection: Many people forget that technologies such as Alexa are also collecting information. Every time you ask a question, the technology is saving this information under the guise it will be better able to anticipate your needs. But as it is doing this it is also accessing and retrieving the information you might not even know has been “taken” from you. You don’t know what that information is, and you also don’t know how it will be used. The intent of data usage will have to become more transparent.
Paid for Data: This would be a mini-miracle, but there is also the possibility that because companies are making so much money from consumer data, that at some point it might be legislated they pay not only a company like Facebook to access your data, but that should your info be used, you also get a cut.
Changing Options: Right now, there is one privacy agreement consumers are asked to click that has a broad overview of data usage. It is possible that there will be changes made so you can click a number of choices that define how you are willing to share your date.
Consumer Protection: As with above, we should see some advancements that will be designed to collect information but ensure that consumer’s privacy and rights are protected. This will include avoiding decision making that could override consumer rights in the name of technology. Further legislation will also be put forward to protect consumers’ rights including ethical approaches to the use of data that will provide enforceable rules and regulations on usage.
Consumer Activism: As with any social progress, it is also up to consumers to voice their concerns and take action to protect their own rights. This can mean refusing to use platforms such as Facebook until changes are made.
Lost Income: There could be an impact on platforms such as Facebook if advertisers are unwilling to invest in advertising they view as less valuable. At the same time, companies that have come to depend on that precise targeting might feel they will lose business if they are less armed to reach who they need to with so much vital, deeply private information.
The list of data that can be affected by a breach is endless from gamers to health care providers. If you have personal information anywhere, data privacy has to be top of mind and you also have to remember that there is limited legislation that provides a clear outline of what can and cannot be done with that data. Reading privacy policies and any agreements a site asks you to read might seem meticulous, but it definitely deserves a good scan, so you know what you are allowing them to do with your information. On the flip side data breaches will also help drive companies to become more transparent when it comes to how they plan to use data. In other words, companies have to become more accountable.