Data privacy is a human right.
To be clear, we are not talking about the right to privacy in the physical world. We’re talking about the right to privacy on the Internet. It’s a major issue that needs to be addressed by governments and companies alike. But it also affects people in other ways, including but not limited to their ability to express themselves freely.
Data privacy is important because it protects us against surveillance by the government or other individuals, and it gives us control over our own information. There are many ways that companies collect data about us and sell it to others: through advertising networks like Google and Facebook; through our search history; through our bank accounts; and more.
But there are also many benefits from having access to this information: for example, we can use it in order to make better decisions about what products or services we should buy; we can use it as part of our job applications or resumes; we can use it for research purposes; and so on. The value of this information cannot be understated — particularly since we don’t have any control over how much money has been spent on buying up all this data about us.
Lately, a lot of countries are recognising the need to tweak the data and online privacy laws so they can have a stronghold over the data that is collected and exploited by third party companies. Recently, through the efforts of the UK government, the GDPR was created to protect the rights of individuals when it comes to data protection. Few game changing rights introduced in GDPR, include:
Right to be informed (Article 13) – The person concerned must be provided with clear, simple and easily accessible information on how their data is processed and for what purposes it is used. They must also have the right to withdraw their consent at any time.
Right of access (Article 15) – Individuals have the right to obtain from the controller or processor any information relating to them which is held by that controller or processor. They also have a right not to receive marketing communications directed at them unless they have given their prior consent.
Right of rectification (Article 16) – Individuals have the right to have incomplete personal data completed, including by means of providing additional information or clarifications where necessary. Where possible they should be provided with a copy of their complete records so they can verify that everything has been included.
Right of erasure (Article 17) – Individuals have the right to have personal data erased. This is also known as the ‘right to be forgotten’. The right only applies to data held at the time the request is received. It does not apply to data that may be created in the future.
“It’s time we realize that we do indeed have a choice to keep our data private and our activities online private”
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