Personal data collection is a real concern. The devices that we use collect our data and some companies sell it to third-party entities. Facebook and Google collect user data for various purposes, many of which are still unknown to the public.
Two years ago, US firms were expected to have spent nearly $19.2 billion on the acquisition of audience data, according to research by the IAB Data Center of Excellence and Winterberry Group, as reported by Wired. Other research determined that 80 percent of Americans feel they have no control over personal data collection and that the risks outweigh the benefits.
Big Data is still a foreign concept to many around the world, and understanding big data technology is beneficial in protecting yourself. To keep you informed, these are some of the data privacy issues in 2020 and what you can do to address them.
This technology has come a long way in the last few years. Today, facial recognition is featured in almost all high-end smartphones. Personal data is now collected everywhere you go, it is not restricted to just your phone and social media accounts.
Many cities already utilize facial recognition software in city surveillance cameras. And let’s not go into the smart doorbells many people are installing in their houses.
What most people do not realize is the danger this technology entails. Anyone can use collected data to create a deepfake of you using algorithms and the internet. A deepfake is an edited video made to make a person appear to do or say something he or she did not say or do. This could lead to serious privacy issues in the future when these technologies are even more advanced.
So, what can you do to protect yourself? Facial recognition technology is sophisticated enough that one photo is enough to produce a deepfake video. Erasing your social media profiles and accounts is not the answer because your data will still be kept by companies. The answer is to push governments to issue more effective laws and regulations to protect our data and privacy.
Laws and Regulations
Though many governments have already issued data protection regulations, these are not enough. Data collection only became an issue recently, well after our daily integration with the internet. Corporations have spent years collecting data before anyone raised their voice against it.
For this reason, laws are always behind the advancement of data collection technology. It develops so rapidly that regulations must keep up every once every few months.
In the meantime, there is something that you can do to protect yourself. Use the services of companies under the European General Data Protection Regulation. These rules are stricter than any other regulations in the world right now, at least choose the lesser evil.
For many years, the healthcare industry has implemented many protection policies to guard the privacy of a patient. However, healthcare providers are no longer the only ones with our data.
We give away personal health information through phones and smartwatches, like the Apple Watch and Fitbit. Millions of people also send their DNA to labs to find out more about their ancestry. This is very powerful information that could be used in the future.
Inform yourself of the best cybersecurity practices and be conscious about how companies collect your data. Always check the permissions of the health apps on your phone, and only permit the collection of what is necessary. You will not be able to completely stop the information collection, but at least try to minimize it.