Digital Privacy. We all hear about it in the news, in conversations and on the internet. But what exactly is it? How can we be secure on the internet if our whole lives are on the web in this information age? Necessarily, for protection on the internet, what can we do? Well, in this article, we will provide useful information surrounding digital privacy and security.
Firstly, what is digital privacy? Digital Privacy encompasses a lot of things. But, in a nutshell, digital privacy is the protection of one’s information as a result of making use of a computer-enabled device. When a user uploads data to a computer or the internet, there is a reasonable expectation that his information will remain shared between select users that person chooses to share. This expectation is the case for people on the internet but primarily social media users.
There are three primary forms of digital privacy. These are Individual privacy, communication privacy, and information privacy. The term digital privacy is accessible due to its use in the context of consumers rights to transparency and privacy on the internet. Naturally, this term comes up in various forms of advocacy associated with security in the digital age.
Types of Digital Privacy
Information privacy deals with the relationship surrounding data, technology, and the legal or political issues that come up with them. It also encompasses users and their natural expectation of privacy. In information privacy, the notion is that users deserve the right to determine how their information on the internet may be collected and used.
In the fields of information security, data security, and computer security, they address the issue through the use of software, hardware, and human resources tailored explicitly for information privacy.
Laws in Information Privacy
In the EU, there are a variety of regulations concerning the use of information that exist. These laws allow users to indicate and enforce their preferences concerning their data. In contrast, the United States privacy law does not have provisions that have matured and developed in this direction. For example, some companies in the United States still have full autonomy concerning the regulation of user data.
Other countries have some law concerning Information Privacy. In Sweden, the world’s first law on Information Privacy came into existence through the “Data Act” in 1973.
In Europe, they make use of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comprises of laws that concern the privacy of every individual citizen of the EU. This law is from 2016. However, it only began enforcement last year.
Types of Information under Digital Privacy concerns
In 2012, The Educational Secretary of the United Kingdom suggested that the National Pupil Database. Which contains the information of the UK’s school students be a more accessible database to users and even to private companies. This change will mean a child’s entire school life, including examinations, continuous assessments.
Tests may be available to anonymous organizations that will use this information for unknown reasons. Therefore, anonymity with this type of information is extremely dangerous. Furthermore, the consequences of such a change are devastating.
Statistics about someone’s monetary transactions, consisting of the number of belongings, positions held in shares or price range, the money owed, and purchases may be private. If criminals have access to statistics which include a person’s debts or credit card numbers, that person might become the victim of fraud or identity theft.
Data concerning someone’s purchases can reveal a remarkable deal about that individual’s records. Along with information such as the locations he has visited. Also whom he has contracted with, products they have used, his hobbies and habits, or drugs he has used. In a few cases, companies may additionally use these statistics to target people with marketing tailored toward the individual’s private information, which that person might not approve.
The potential to govern the records of a person exists over the internet. Consequently, the people that can get access to such information has emerged as a growing challenge. These worries include whether e-mail may be stored or accessed through third parties that have not obtained permission.
Or if third parties can keep track of users visited sites. Furthermore, other concerns involve if the web sites which might be visited can collect, save, and probably share individually identifiable information about customers.
The arrival of various search engines like google and the use of data mining procedures created a way for data about individuals to be accumulated and mixed from a massive range of assets very effortlessly.
The FTC has provided a group of suggestions that represent extensively fair principles regarding honest information practices in an electronic market referred to as the Fair Information Practice Principles.
How to protect Information
In order not to share too much personal information, emails must have encryption. Surfing of web pages, as well as other online acts, is ideally done in a way that is not traceable via “anonymizers”. In case these aren’t reliable, by open-source distributed anonymizers, also referred to as mix nets, together with I2P or Tor – The Onion Router.
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are some other “anonymizers” that may be used to present some extra safety online. This method includes obstructing and encrypting web site traffic for different groups or individuals not to see or mine it.
Email is also another source of internet content that has a wide range of privacy issues. In an age where our information is online, social networking web sites pose additional challenges in privacy. Sometimes, people tagged in photos results in the exposure of valuable information on them. Additionally, accidental publication on data about the location may happen.
For example, when someone posts an image with a recognizable background. People should also exercise caution on the information they post because social networks are inconsistent in what they allow as private and what may remain public in reality.
If there are no strong guidelines for the security of information, combined with an attention for what remains public, then a person may be subject to profiling. This profiling is a catalyst for issues like cyberstalking or damaging a reputation.
Communication Privacy deals with a notion that dictates all conversations and information shared digitally should remain free. Alongside an expectation that communications remain secure. This notion means all messages will only be visible to the sender’s approved recipients. Although this should be the case, it isn’t. Instead, communications are subject to interception resulting in information going to recipients unknown to the sender.
This interception exists in various ways. For example, the conversation may face blocking through hacking. Furthermore, they may be to the wrong recipient as a result of false assumptions concerning the way the website works. Typically, a failure to assess a company’s terms and conditions agreements will lead to this result.
Additionally, many companies lack the transparency that is necessary for regards to privacy concerns. The ways they use information is unknown due to reasons that could either be intentional or unintentional.
The discussion of privacy in communication demands an understanding of the technology used to protect information digitally. Consideration in regards to the effectiveness and ineffectiveness of those systems is necessary. Also, essential advancements to elevate those systems are required.
In digital privacy, personal privacy connotes the freedom to exist freely on the internet. This privacy means that individuals should get to choose what information they receive. Also, the decision for unwanted details not to be visible.
A type of digital breach will be receiving spam in an email inbox. Or receiving information that is a result of a computer virus such as unwanted ads or pop-up ads. When things like these occur, a person’s privacy is infringed.
Because of the dangers of the internet, anonymity is often a reasonable step to take for digital privacy and security.
Controversy in Digital Privacy
Digital Privacy has resulted in many disputes over time. The classic example is Facebook, a social media company that has faced a lot of backlash for breach of privacy. Facebook has been accused and found wanting in many areas of user privacy through different methods. They have also faced accusation selling private user information as a result of this breach.
Other social media websites are speculated to do this as well through methods like questionnaires. Some titles include: “Find out what Harry Potter character you are” or “What Disney Princess will be your best friend”.
These questionnaires contain various ways of extracting unsuspecting users for their information with questions that lead towards personal data. Once a user logs in to these websites with Facebook or any other Social Media, their answers are sold to anonymous groups to tailor advertisements and marketing.
In conclusion, user data should always remain protected as it is a fundamental right that people have their privacy on the internet at all times. However, if the governments are unable to help currently, users must find ways to preserve their information through the use of some of the recommendations in this article.