Fresh Technology Insights

Category: Awareness

Be paranoid about privacy

Kara Swisher, NY Times (paywall) »

Privacy has been losing badly, as users have become the online equivalent of cheap dates to these giant tech companies. We trade the lucrative digital essence of ourselves for much less in the form of free maps or nifty games or compelling communications apps.

We’re digitally sloppy, even if it can be very dangerous, as evidenced by a disturbing New York Times story this week about an Emirati secure messaging app called ToTok, which is used by millions across the Middle East and has also recently become one of the most downloaded in the United States.

The name was obviously used to place the app adjacent to the hugely popular TikTok, already under scrutiny by American officials because of its Chinese origins and possible link to the Beijing government. In the case of ToTok, according to the Times report, it turns out that it is a spy tool “used by the government of the United Arab Emirates to try to track every conversation, movement, relationship, appointment, sound and image of those who install it on their phones.”

January 28 — Data Privacy Day

We are launching our new site today, January 28, 2018, as it coincides with Data Privacy Day.

Data Privacy Day, known as Data Protection Day in Europe, marks the 1981 signing of the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection. Also known as Convention 108, it protects the right to privacy of individuals, taking account of the increasing flow across frontiers of personal data undergoing automatic processing.

The purpose of Data Privacy Day is to raise awareness and promote privacy and data protection best practices. It is currently observed in the Canada, United States, India and 47 member states of the Council of Europe.

We live in an increasing interconnected world, and as the number and severity of computer hacks continues to grow, Data Privacy Day is reminder of the importance of protecting your personal data, today and every day. The day is focused on raising awareness among businesses, as well as users about the importance of protecting the privacy of their personal information online.

We need to think about our personal privacy every day. Everything we do online has privacy implications. Our Facebook posts are analyzed, What we ask Alexa is recorded. As are our Google searches, everywhere we take our smartphones, and every time we use our credit cards.

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