Data Protection and You

1 minutes to read

If you’re anything like me, (up to about a year ago) you probably think that privacy on the web isn’t such a big deal. I knew my data was the price I paid for free services like Google and Facebook, so that was fine. I also thought that people who wanted to keep their data private did so just for its own sake.

Privacy for its own sake is valid, and a human right. Either way, there are a plenty of reasons to be cautious about the data you share online. The game changer for me was realising that information may not be identifying or potentially used by bad actors on its own, but en masse can allow for identity and account theft.

You may not care that Facebook knows you like Janelle Monae. I’m sure you’d care if a bunch of hackers knew your Facebook password, or identifying details that could be used to get past security questions at your bank. You’d be unhappy with the release of all your data - inlcudings things like photos and texts - to the public without your permission.

You can see this blog post for more reasons why privacy is important.

As a user, here’s some thing you can do to protect yourself online. Use 2FA (two factor authentication) whenever it’s available. Use a password manager. Check the permissions you allow when downloading apps and using websites.

As a developer, respect Do Not Track, or DNT, whenever possible. GDPR regulations affect local storage and not just cookies. Try not to ask for uneccessary permissions and keep user privacy in mind during decisions. Make it the easy and automatic path for your users to make prudent choices about their data.

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Written on January 28, 2019