Data Privacy Week 2024
Data privacy week is just around the corner, and this year's theme is “Take Back Your Data”. But what exactly is Data Privacy Week? Why was it created? And why should you care?
Data Privacy Week 2024: What You Need to Know
Let's look at the landscape: a telling 56% of US adults routinely skip reading online privacy policies, hitting 'agree' to get past the screen. Younger adults are at the forefront of this trend, with 72% of under 30s clicking away without reading a word of the policy. It paints a picture of a fast-paced, agreement-happy populace.
However, that's not to say people aren't engaged in online privacy, because beneath this surface of hurried consent, a different trend is emerging. A significant 68% are also quietly adjusting their social media privacy settings and turning off cookies. It's a subtle shift, but it's there - more people are taking steps, however small, towards reclaiming their digital autonomy. This Data Privacy Week, it's about understanding these nuances and recognizing both the apathy and the awakening in our digital behavior.
What is Data Privacy Week?
Data Privacy Week is an annual event aimed at educating individuals and businesses about the importance of online privacy. It runs from January 21st to 27th, ending with National Data Privacy Day on the 28th. Its focus is aimed at empowering people and companies to respect privacy, safeguard data, and enable trust.
The two main goals of the event are:
- To improve individuals' understanding of their control over their data.
- To help companies understand the importance of respecting the privacy of their users' data.
Why Was Data Privacy Week Created?
Data Privacy Week was created as an expansion of Data Privacy Day, which started in the United States and Canada in January 2008. It builds on Data Protection Day in Europe, commemorating the January 28, 1981 signing of Convention 108—the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection.
Why is Data Privacy Week Important?
Put simply, it addresses the critical need for awareness and education in managing personal data—crucial in an era where 97% of businesses use data to power their operations.
The bottom line is this: data is incredibly valuable and there's a lot of it out there. The estimated volume of data created worldwide in 2022 was 97 zettabytes. This is an immense amount of data, equivalent to 97 trillion gigabytes. To put it in perspective, if each gigabyte were a brick, 97 zettabytes would be enough to build many Great Walls of China.
As personal data becomes the world's most valuable commodity, understanding how to control and protect this information is vital. With most individuals quickly agreeing to privacy policies without reading them, the initiative becomes even more crucial in promoting informed decisions and responsible data handling by both consumers and businesses.
How Does "Take Back Your Data" Apply to Businesses?
For individuals, "Take Back Your Data" seems pretty straightforward. It's about taking control of your personal information, understanding how companies use your data, and making choices about what to share.
As a business, "Take back your data" means it's your responsibility to manage customer data ethically and transparently. It's about ensuring you're collecting, storing, and using data securely, respecting privacy, and maintaining trust. Essentially, it's your duty to be informed and proactive in protecting and handling the data entrusted to you. So how should businesses honor that for this year's Data Privacy Week?
Designating a Key Leader or Data Champion
The National Cybersecurity Alliance recommends designating a data champion, essentially someone who can oversee data privacy strategies, ensure compliance with laws and foster a culture of data protection within the organization. This individual would be responsible for keeping data safe and ethical.
More specifically, for this year's Data Privacy Week, the National Cybersecurity Alliance is recommending people take control of their data by taking these steps:
- Know the trade-off between privacy and convenience: This includes deleting unused apps and being wary of apps or services that ask for more information than they need.
- Adjust privacy settings: Check privacy settings on services to ensure you're comfortable with what's being shared and who can see it. Adjust these settings to match your personal preferences for data sharing and visibility.
- Protect your data: This includes creating long and unique passwords and storing them in a password manager, educating yourself about phishing, and enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA) wherever it's available.
If users are being asked to follow these steps, it's crucial that businesses are aware of this and make this transition straightforward.
How LammTech Can Help?
Navigating data privacy requires a deep understanding of complex regulations and technological safeguards. This is challenging for many businesses because data privacy best practices continually shift, and technological solutions are increasingly evolving. So, when you add the IT skills gap into the mix, finding a data champion who can juggle all aspects of data privacy education and cybersecurity implementation can be nearly impossible for smaller organizations and a significant strain on resources for larger ones. In other words, it's often prohibitively expensive and time-consuming, but it doesn't have to be.
LammTech simplifies this process by offering tailored services, including:
- Securing your network with encryption, MFA, and data loss prevention services: Encryption turns sensitive data into unreadable code for unauthorized users, safeguarding information during transmission. MFA adds an extra verification layer, ensuring that a stolen password alone isn't enough to breach your systems. Data Loss Prevention services monitor and protect data, alerting you to unauthorized transfers or deletions.
- Restricting access to sensitive information: By implementing role-based access controls, only staff who need specific data to perform their job can access it, reducing the risk of insider threats and accidental leaks.
- Providing end-user security education: Educating staff on identifying phishing attempts, secure password practices, and the importance of regular software updates can significantly reduce the risk of breaches.
- Helping implement and enforce data privacy policies: Tailoring policies to your business's needs, ensuring employees know how to handle data correctly, and regular audits can help maintain high standards of data protection, meeting regulatory requirements and maintaining customer trust.
At LammTech, we're committed to simplifying data privacy for businesses of all sizes. Stay tuned for our upcoming social media posts during Data Privacy Week, where we'll share practical tips on passwords, MFA, phishing, and software updates to help you take control of your data. Together, we'll navigate the complexities of data privacy and safeguard your digital future.
About the Author: LammTech
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