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Data Privacy Day

Today is Data Privacy Day. The consultancy and trainers Advent IM have put together a Youtube video in honour of the day. Set in the year 2880, starring Advent IM MD Mike Gillespie as the ship’s captain, and Ellie Hurst, no-one can hear you scream in space …. but you can still send a memo.

And some more serious content too:

Consumer demands are changing and businesses are operating in a global market. Companies are looking for ways to differentiate themselves and, are increasingly focusing on personalising their offering, says Rufus Grig, Chief Strategy Officer of Maintel, a managed service provider.

He says: “As we move through the new decade, we will see companies use a variety of tactics to create a personalised experience to boost sales, but this approach must give something to the customer, whether that’s special discounts, an improved experience, or hand-picked content. It is, in fact, something we are starting to see customers demand, with consumers expecting personalisation without the wait, according to one recent piece of research, which suggests eighty-three percent expect products or services to adapt in a matter of moments or hours. But all of this personalisation requires one key element – data.

“Throughout 2020, companies would be well advised to undertake a trust building exercise and ensure their customers that data is being kept secure and the company is following best practice. We will see more and more companies explaining why they need certain data, how they intend to use it, how the customer could benefit and, of course, how all this information will be stored securely. If somebody understands why certain information is being collected and how this data will be used, they are much more likely to trust a business.

“Companies should only collect what information they need, store it securely and they should implement data leakage protection. On this Data Privacy Day, companies should reflect on the data they’re collecting. They should put themselves in their customers’ shoes – if you was a customer would you be happy sharing this data and how would you expect a business to use it and store it?”

The cyber firm Kaspersky points to the popular cyber attack method of password stealers. In 2019, the firm saw a rise in the number of users (two million in total) hit by malware designed to harvest consumer’s digital data. Password stealers infiltrate browsers and steal stored passwords, leading to users’ private data being accessed via online accounts without their permission and being raided by malefactors.

Marina Titova, Head of Consumer Product Marketing at Kaspersky says: “Technology has improved online communications and continues to build a closer, more integrated world. While ordinary consumers benefit from open opportunities these new technologies bring to them and enjoy the value, it is still important to be proactive in protecting the personal data that this technology relies on. Today they are many tactics to prise personal information from people, like password stealers or phishing. However, there are some simple steps anyone can follow to safeguard their digital privacy.”

Joseph Carson, chief security scientist at Privileged Access Management (PAM) software company Thycotic says arguably that the end of privacy as we know it is closer than you may think. “In essence, privacy allows citizens to be free and when you take away or constrain privacy, you take away citizens freedom.

The reality is that almost everyone is being tracked and monitored 24/7 with cameras recording expressions, fashion, interactions and speech to determine what you need, what you might be thinking and who you are meeting, he adds. “Algorithms can even determine what your next action might be.

“Privacy should be universal. However, we tend to have different definitions of privacy in the digital world as opposed to physical world. EU GDPR has been a ground-breaking change that set new regulations around digital privacy, empowering citizens with clear cut rights around consent and transparency of their personal information online. It was a step in the right direction and has drawn a line in the sand into what’s acceptable and what’s not acceptable in terms of data privacy, collection and processing.”


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