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Did You Celebrate Data Protection Day?

Okay, so it’s not as exciting as Christmas Day or your birthday. But Data Protection Day is less about the fun and more about raising awareness and promoting privacy and data protection best practices. It’s an annual event that occurs on 28 January and has been running for over a decade since it first launched in 2007.

Inside Europe it’s known as Data Protection Day, but outside it’s called Data Privacy Day. Whatever you call it, the day is observed by 47 European countries, India, Canada, and the United States. Get it marked on your calendar.

Data Protection Day was originally focussed on raising awareness for businesses about how important it is to keep personal information private online, especially when it comes to using social networks. Over the years, the focus has grown to include consumers and families. Not only does the day cover how to control personally identifiable information, it also encourages privacy regulation compliance and opens discourse for people interested in data privacy.

Now more than ever, data protection is extremely important. There were some of the biggest data scandals of all-time last year – not least of all the Cambridge Analytica upset, where it was discovered that the UK firm had accessed millions of Facebook user’s information without access. You can’t trust others to keep your data safe, it seems.

It takes businesses an average of 206 days to realise their data has been breached. That’s unacceptable. Of course, the data should never be breached in the first place, but these things can happen – a rogue developer or executive, for example, could mishandle data.

Therefore, the European data laws that came into force last year are so important. Companies had a year to bring themselves into compliance. Now that time has passed, and you better believe that GDPR rulings are going to come down hard on any business that isn’t up to scratch. We’ve already seen it with Google, being fined millions of Euros for not complying to a satisfactory standard.

But businesses aren’t the ones who really feel the impact of poor data protection. It’s the consumers, for it’s their data that gets leaked out. If you look after data in any shape or form, you need to look at your security plans and consider how secure it is. Does it think about the customer’s privacy? You need to make sure that you have a system in place to assess threats to your data, both internally and externally. You need to know who is keeping tabs on your data. Put simply, you need to comply with GPDR.

If you’re a consumer, take some time to brush up on your data rights. Consider where you are putting your personal data and the companies you are using. Do you know how they are handling your data? Are you certain that you’re opted in and out of the right things? Take some time to review your settings and ensure that the services you’re using are all within data compliance.


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