Saturday, 20 December 2014

Social Data Protection: What Is It And How Can You Protect Yourself And Your Business?

In 2012, an Australian Law Student requested an undisclosed social networking site to provide him with all the information they kept about him. The social networking company sent him a mind-boggling 1,224 pages of information. This included plain text messages, postings, as well as photos. Some of the information provided dated back several years. To his surprise, the company still kept information he thinks he had already deleted. The question is; why did the site have to keep information the user had already deleted?

Social networking issues

The Department of Social Protection defines personal data as any data related to the identity of a person. As such, personal data is data that can be used singly or in conjunction with other information sources to reveal the identity of a person. Personal data includes information held in computers and in manual files. When you get some time, feel free to watch, read, and learn about social protection technology at Joanna Shields.

The inception of social networking was rightly applauded. Through social sites, we are able to connect with people we would have otherwise long forgotten. From friends to families and business colleagues, we can now chat and share thoughts and experiences much more easily.

74% of European social media users believe that sharing personal information on social sites is part of modern life. However, 72% of internet users also think that they are giving away too much personal information on the internet – that they have no control of how much information is kept by social sites. This is because many times they are asked to provide this information in order to access an online service. By 2012, 79% of shoppers had critical personal information held by online retail stores and 61% had surrendered similar information to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. And although more than half of these users read and understand the terms and conditions of providing personal data online, only 25% of social networking sites and 18% of online retail stores feel in complete control of the information they collect.

Protecting social data Government efforts

• Right to be forgotten

The European Commission believes that there is need to strengthen the right to be forgotten – that social sites should only keep the data they need to keep. The commission also wants controllers of social data to inform you of how they intend to use your personal information

• Role of the Department of Social Protection

The Department of Social protection is under obligation to ensure that data is obtained purposefully and processed fairly. Such data must also be accurate, complete, and current.

Social data protection at the individual level

• Tips when surrendering personal data
When registering an account, use strong passwords and if you’re asked to provide a security question, go for information that others don’t know about you. Also, don’t provide work related emails and review the privacy policy accordingly. 

• General tips when using social networking sites

I. Don’t share birthdays, place of birth, and age
II. Stay aware of changes in terms and conditions and privacy policies
III. Beware of shortened links and pop-ups
IV. Delete cookies periodically
V. If you’re on a location-detecting network, don’t share the location of your home
VI. Don’t publicize travelling dates and general vacation plans.

You can find more social data protection tips on the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse website.

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