Taking Action: Data Privacy Day



Despite the acceptance of many an End User License Agreement (EULA), millions of people are unaware of how their personal information is used, collected or shared during their daily usage of the Internet. Data Privacy Day is a global effort that commemorates the signing between the United States and Canada of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty which addresses privacy and data protection. Jan. 28 is now the official day to remind, inspire and educate individuals and businesses about taking control of their personal information.

Why is it important to educate the masses on data privacy? According to executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) Kelvin Coleman, “In recent years, we’ve seen the impact of more global awareness surrounding the abuse of consumer data…And while legislative backing is key to reinforcing accountability for poor data privacy practices, one major goal of Data Privacy Day is to build awareness among businesses about the benefits of an ethical approach to data privacy measures separate from legal boundaries.”

That said, check out these tips for business and personal strategies aimed at protecting data from the Cyber Security & Information Systems Information Analysis Center (CSIAC).


Personal info is like money: Value it. Protect it. Personal information, such as your purchase history, IP address, or location, has tremendous value to businesses – just like money. Make informed decisions about whether to share your data with certain businesses by considering the amount of personal information they are asking for and weighing it against the benefits you may receive in return.

Keep tabs on your apps. Many apps ask for access to personal information, such as your geographic location, contacts list and photo album, before you can use their services. Be thoughtful about who gets that information, and wary of apps that require access to information that is not required or relevant for the services they are offering. Delete unused apps on your internet-connect devices and keep others secure by performing updates.

Manage your privacy settings. Check the privacy and security settings on web services and apps and set them to your comfort level for information sharing. Each device, application, or browser you use will have different features to limit how and with whom you share information. Get started with NCSA’s Manage Your Privacy Settings page.”


If you collect it, protect it. Data breaches can not only lead to great financial loss, but a loss in reputation and customer trust. Follow reasonable security measures to keep individuals’ personal information safe from inappropriate and unauthorized access. Make sure the personal data you collect is processed in a fair manner and only collected for relevant and legitimate purposes.

Consider adopting a privacy framework. Build privacy into your business by researching and adopting a privacy framework to help you manage risk and create a culture of privacy in your organization.

Conduct an assessment of your data collection practices. Understand which privacy laws and regulations apply to your business. Educate your employees of their and your organization’s obligations to protecting personal information.

Transparency builds trust. Be open and honest about how you collect, use, and share consumers’ personal information. Think about how the consumer may expect their data to be used and design settings to protect their information by default. Communicate clearly and concisely to the public what privacy means to your organization and the steps you take to achieve and maintain privacy.

Maintain oversight of partners and vendors. If someone provides services on your behalf, you are also responsible for how they collect and use your consumers’ personal information.”

For more tips on protecting personal data, visit the NCSA online for more on how to be a Data Privacy Day Champion and get involved in your community.  

Source: MICPA

 Back to List