In this day and age of the digital era, privacy has become one of the most crucial and contentious topics of debate. Not only it has implication for our daily lives, but it is also sure to have an impact on the business models of many corporations. Along with people and business corporations, governments and policymakers are important stakeholders in this debate. After all, it is the responsibility of the chosen public representatives to take care of the people and their holistic well-being.
Today we have a number of social media websites that are constantly engaging with their followers on a range of different issues and topics. Organizations like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and many other platforms are the destination of millions of people on a daily basis. People indulge in a range of activities on these social media platforms, with some of the prominent activities include business communication, social interactions, watching videos, posting pictures, tweeting opinions, etc.
While we are aware of how all these interactions take place, we often fail to recognize how much these organizations mine personal data while we spend our time on these networks. Every click on some specific event, liking activities, or disliking opinions, send a whole host of information to digital behemoths about our habits, leanings, and preferences. All this information is then surreptitiously shared by these platforms to their clients who are ready to splurge the money to get access to the personal information of the users. These clients then use the information to personalize the offering of the company and target users with customized messages and promotions.
Data Breach: A harsh Reality
We have already witnessed the impact of the data breach in the case of Facebook Cambridge Analytica, where millions of voters in the US presidential election were allegedly influenced by the target messaging. The impact of this data scandal was huge and put a spotlight on the sheer power and influence social media organizations can wield on individuals, societies, or even democratic processes. Google, another tech giant, has also come under the intense heat of data breach instances and has given many explanations in the wake of data mishandling charges in both US and European Union (EU).
Digital privacy is a matter of great concern, and this explains the enhanced scrutiny that this issue is getting now across the globe. EU has come out with stringent provisions related to digital privacy and data security in 2018. Australia has recently revealed that it has come under the cyber-attacks, and the government is adopting all measures to safeguard the digital privacy of its institutions. We hear the same kind of voices in other developed nations as lawmakers are increasingly becoming aware of the need for a safe and secure digital identity.
To help the cause of digital privacy, it is mandatory that users must be sensitized about the importance of keeping their digital identities safe. It is a joint responsibility of the public and government to adopt practices that can help us to fight the menace of digital theft. We must become aware of secure practices related to digital identity, and efforts must be made to make sure that our privacy in the digital era remains intact. Government and policymakers have a huge responsibility on their part as stricter legislation is one of the definitive ways to help the cause of digital privacy.