Five Things to Think About on Data Privacy Day

Data Privacy Day is January 28.

It's January 28. Do you know where your data is? That sounds glib, but data is more important in 2019 than ever before, and knowing how to manage — as best you can — data that's directly connected to you is an important and not-to-be-overlooked responsibility for all of us. Also, today is Data Privacy Day.


Data Privacy Day is actually a federally recognized observance in the United States (if not much more that), voted into existence by Congress in 2009. That's two years after the non-governing Council of Europe got the ball rolling with what is known as European Data Protection Day across 47 nations in Europe.


The stated purpose of Data Privacy Day is to raise awareness among individuals and organizations of the importance of data protection. As the world becomes increasingly driven by information and information technology, each individual is increasingly identified by and associated with a vast aggregate of data. If you're concerned about your personal data the National Cyber Security Alliance is one place to look for more information ... about managing your personal information.


Here are five things to think about as you go about your Data Privay Day in 2019:


1 >>> Unified cloud provider Domo puts out a report titled Data Never Sleeps each year. In 2017, the company reported 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated every day. Last year, Domo reported that experts predict that by 2020, for every human on Earth, 1.7 MB of data will be generated every second.


What are the sources of some of that data? The 2018 Data Never Sleeps report found that, across every minute of every day — that's 1,440 minutes per every 24 hours — humans do the following: post 49,380 photos on Instagram, generate 473,400 new tweets on Twitter, create 2,083,333 new snaps on Snapchat, and send 12,986,111 texts, and exchange $68,493 on Venmo.


2 >>> Personal data is generally considered to include all electronic and non-electronic data that directly identifies an individual. Your personal data includes everything from home utility bills and paychecks to posts about your vacation to Alaska on Facebook to stored information that tracks everything from your health to your voting record.


Any purchase you make, from buying gas for your car to streaming a movie online to installing solar panels on your roof, generates personal data. Every social interaction you engage that is connected to any public or private agency creates personal data, whether it's a marriage license, a grade school report card, or a blood donation.


3 >>> The European Union broke ground in 2016 by creating the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a legally binding code in EU law that requires businesses and organizations to make certain disclosures and implement special protections regarding personal data. After a two-year waiting period, GDPR became enforceable last year.


There are 99 individual articles in GDPR that are grouped in 11 chapters and appended by 171 recitals. National security agencies are EU law enforcement organizations are largely exempted from GDPR compliance. Earlier this month, Google was fined roughly $57 million by French officials for GDPR violations.


4 >>> Because there are no overarching data protection laws in the United States, individuals can't really control what happens to their personal data. There are numerous corporations that organize, buy, and sell personal data, following a general business pattern that experts have nicknamed "surveillance capitalism."


In an article that appeared in Money magazine last year, cybersecurity expert Bruce Schneider said surveillance capitalism is essentially fair game in the United States. "Your data can be bought and sold without your knowledge and consent. That's the way it works," Schneider said. "If you don't like that, lobby your congressman. That is your only option."


5 >>> You can have a career in privacy protection. One option would be to pursue a certification from the International Association of Privacy Professionals. There are three IAPP certifications: Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP, Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM), and Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT).


According to the most recent Salary Survey conducted by Certification Magazine, individuals in the United States who are CIPP-certified have an average annual salary of $141,240.


Would you like more insight into the history of hacking? Check out Calvin's other articles about historical hackery:
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GoCertify's mission is to help both students and working professionals get IT certifications. GoCertify was founded in 1998 by Anne Martinez.