January 28 is celebrated as Data Privacy Day. This worldwide event that started in 2009 is aimed to raise public awareness about the importance of the amount of personal information that they are posting online. This event is primarily geared for users of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
According to the Wikipedia article about the said occasion, Data Privacy Day expands upon its educational initiatives by promoting events that strive to enhance data privacy and security of every netizen. These events are usually collaborations of worldwide organizations and entities such as governments, industry leaders, academics, nonprofit organizations, educators, and more.
This year, several leading tech industries published transparency reports which aim to make public the lengths that these companies go to in order to protect user information. Google and Twitter enlightened the world with their practices and policies regarding government requests for user information while Facebook assured the public about the privacy measures regarding Graph Search.
Google and Twitter reported an increase in the number of data requests issued to them, with both companies reporting that the majority of these queries come from the U.S. Government. Despite this upward trend of data requests, the number of data disclosures is actually down which is attributed to their stringent privacy protocols. This roughly translates to “Google and Twitter take data privacy very seriously”. However, if you’re interested in the actual number-crunching of these statistics and want to double check them yourself, you can check out this website which offers a comprehensive breakdown of the transparency reports of Google and Twitter.
On the other hand, Facebook updated its blog and added an FAQ page for its new feature, Graph Search. We’ve featured Graph Search’s devastating potential for data privacy breaches recently and the whole of the Web has been in a constant state of uproar over Facebook’s newest feature. However, with this new update from Facebook, it seems like they’re going out of their way to make users feel secure about this new Facebook feature.
In this fast paced world of technology and online affairs, data privacy is of the utmost importance. What steps are you taking to ensure that your online data are kept safe and secured? We recommend that you change your passwords regularly, educate yourself about common malicious software and scams, and most importantly, think twice before liking or linking anything to you that you may regret in the future.