Data Privacy- A Growing Threat In The Internet-Driven World
Data privacy is a phrase that is commonly heard of in today’s day and age with the constant development of technology and sciences. Unfortunately, it is still something that remains unexplained to laymen who use social media and share their information on
There are days when you are scrolling through an e-commerce website for “window shopping”, but you leave it mid-way and log off. After a bit, surprisingly, it’s all that you see, all over your other social media pages - ads suggesting exactly what you were looking at. That is how we know that data is no longer private. Although it is not against our will because we are the ones who tick the “Agree” box within seconds of the ‘Terms & Conditions’ appearing on our screens, the ramifications of this could affect us in ways beyond what we can imagine.
DEMYSTIFYING DATA PRIVACY
Data privacy is a phrase that is commonly heard of in
If personal information is compromised by a criminal and used to impersonate the victim, a serious case of identity theft could occur. A person could easily be robbed if his/her banking identity is stolen. Another scenario that occurs in such cases is that the unsuspecting victim may get framed for criminal activities
today’s day and age with the constant development of technology and sciences. Unfortunately, it is still something that remains unexplained to laymen who use social media and share their information on various platforms without knowing what they are agreeing to. While these developments have greatly improved and elevated our lifestyle, let us not forget that there are two sides to a coin. With every new development, there is a new kind of threat to our privacy. Hence, it is important to be aware of these threats and understand them in order to diminish them.
Personal Information refers to any information which relates to an individual. In the digital economy, each industry, including government, banking, insurance, healthcare, media, and education, is heavily dependent on consumption of personal information. The personal information may take several forms. It can be sensitive personal information where the loss or leakage can cause harm or it can adversely affect the person. It can also be health-related or financial information that is otherwise publicly not available.
Personal information can be mapped to a person’s identity in each sphere of life, be it banking access, health care support, insurance claims, income tax payments, airline or rail travel, foreign travel, education qualifications, or employment. Moreover, in today’s Aadhaar-enabled economy, each facet of the personal life is recorded somewhere. Personal identity and Aadhaar have become almost synonymous.
If personal information is compromised by a criminal and used to impersonate the victim, a serious case of identity theft could occur. A person could easily be robbed if his/her banking identity is stolen. Another scenario that occurs in such cases is that the unsuspecting victim may get framed for criminal activities.
The Data Privacy initiatives in India are driven by Data Security Council of India (DSCI) a premier industry body on data protection & security. DSCI has been committed to making cyberspace safe and trustworthy by establishing the finest practices, standards, and initiatives in cyber security and privacy.
The Indian government is aggressively driving various data privacy & protection measures. The corporates collecting personal information have been made accountable for data protection through IT Act, Aadhaar Act, and various UIDAI circulars. Government is also working on a Data Protection Act, which will soon become a reality in India. This act is being drafted keeping personal information protection in focus. Such a law is the need of the hour in today’s internet-driven economy.
Thus, data privacy & protection is being tackled wholeheartedly by the Centre, state governments, and business organizations. However, their efforts will be fruitful only when every individual understands their role in protecting data privacy. On the occasion of International Data Privacy Day celebrated late last month, let’s commit ourselves for the protection of our own personal information and imbibe the privacy culture.