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What is Data Privacy?

The Facebook data leak scandal from earlier this year rocked the tech industry and showed us what can happen when your data privacy is not taken seriously. It illustrated how our data privacy can easily be compromised at the cost of our obsession with social media and internet usage.

A brief recap of this incident is as follows: earlier in 2018, we all discovered that Facebook exposed the data of 87 million users to a researcher hired by Cambridge Analytica (a personality profiling company involved in the Donald Trump presidential campaign of 2016). This researcher built a Facebook app based on a personality quiz. The app collected both the data of people who took the quiz and their friends (up to 87 million users). And in 2015, the researcher sold this data to Cambridge Analytica. And this very Facebook data leak allegedly played a decisive role in U.S. President Donald Trump’s victory in 2016. This story goes deeper than you think; a simple search on Google about the Facebook-Cambridge incident will give you the entire picture of how it happened.

This goes to show you that while it may seem that such incidents do not impact you, it unknowingly does. If firms can use/misuse your data to potentially unethically impact the course of an event as important as Brexit or a presidential election whether it be in Russia or the United States, then there is no saying what other monumental changes could occur as a result of this privacy break.

Data is the new oil. What this means is that your data must stay in your hands and used exactly the way we want. Data security needs to be at the forefront of cybersecurity; if we lose it or if someone misuses it, it is us who will take the fall. With that thought, be careful of apps and websites you decide to share your data with; stay away from those who are after it. Your data is you – keep it safe.

 

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