Data Security & Privacy – What You Need to Know
Like us, you may have seen Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg in the news recently, and been curious as to what this whole data security and privacy debate is about. Here at The Social Lamb, we see it as our duty to keep you up to date and informed, so we thought it a good time to weigh in on the topic that’s been in the global media so much lately.
To bring it into context, you know how when you search for something on Google, you suddenly start seeing advertising for similar products or sites popping up on Social Media platforms? Have you ever wondered how this is possible? The answer is that Facebook and Google have developed algorithms that track your online habits and preferences to predict the type of content you’d like to see, in an attempt to increase engagement and time spent on these platforms.
Facebook as a company owns Instagram, WhatsApp and Tinder, so the volume of data they have access to is huge, from your shopping preferences to your dating habits and much more. The problem arises when this information is made available for sale to corporations like insurance or security companies, who use trending information to make choices like increasing insurance premiums or even lowering the value of properties and homes.
In a sobering real-world scenario, the situation that brought the data privacy and security situation into the public eye was when a company called Cambridge Analytica was hired to handle the Trump administration’s presidential campaign in 2017. The data that was collected online during the campaign was allegedly used to attempt to influence public opinion on behalf of the politicians who’d hired them – which may have had an impact beyond what we could even imagine in last year’s US presidential elections.
In cases like this, the implications of a data security breach have been globally impactful, and have resulted in new legislation being passed in the EU, known as the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation.) This new law is expected to bring about some pretty dramatic global changes when it comes to data security, such as being more descriptive about what constitutes as personal data, as well as requiring organisations to attain explicit consent from individuals regarding the processing of their personal information.
New data laws and practices will undoubtedly start to filter through into our own legislation as they not only impact countries in the EU but anyone that does business with them as well. In our opinion, it is a move towards positive change and we look forward to many more companies taking steps towards being more ethical and more respectful in their risk mitigation and data privacy practices.
From our side here at The Social Lamb, we always take the utmost care to ensure that any of our clients’ personal or sensitive information is safe, secure and private, and we hope this information will allow you to be a bit more aware of how your data is being used and collectively begin to be more conscious in our increasingly Digital and hyperconnected age.