In the words of the National Cyber Security Alliance, Data Privacy Day "is an international effort to empower individuals and encourage businesses to respect privacy, safeguard data and enable trust."

Data privacy should be at the forefront of everyone's mind.  Protecting your personal data and understanding your right to privacy is becoming more and more important as we start to understand how valuable personal data is and how we are all accountable for protecting our privacy.

Data privacy day is focused on staying safe online, which is a great opportunity to reflect on privacy in a personal way.  

Let’s talk about the privacy policy and why it matters

Before providing personal information to an organization through a website, it is always a good idea to read the website’s privacy policy. A privacy policy should include useful information about the organization’s privacy practices, such as the type of personal information collected, how the information is used, who it is shared with and how you can exercise your privacy rights. Often you can find contact information or an online request form in the privacy policy to submit questions about how the organization is using your information. 

It can be a challenge for organizations to provide a privacy policy that meets all of the legal requirements about what should be disclosed in the policy, while still being practical and understandable to website visitors. Many privacy policies include similar sections so often the table of contents can be a useful tool to find the sections you are most interested in learning about before providing personal information on the website.

We also recommend checking privacy policies periodically as they are updated from time-to-time. Sometimes organizations make updates to privacy policies to account for changes in privacy laws. For example you probably noticed a lot of updated privacy policies around May 2018 when the GDPR came into effect for EU countries. More recently, many organizations made additional  updates to align with California’s new privacy law. Other times organizations make updates to account for business changes, such as entity changes or a new feature or offering which results in new types of personal data uses.

How can you protect yourself online?

Tricky question in the digital age of social media, how and where can I update my privacy settings? 

The National Cyber Security Alliance has provided some direct links to update your privacy settings for popular devices and online services.

Spread the word

In large part, protecting data privacy for your customers and end users and for data that is handled by your company is not as complicated as we might think, but it does require thinking about data privacy regularly, following your company’s guidelines for handling data, and having processes in place to stop or mitigate a breach if there has been an exposure.

So spread the word about Data Privacy Day, but keep the party going all year long. Visit our Trust Red Hat page to stay connected on topics such as security, compliance and privacy.