We must be the trapped prey.
It’s a spooky metaphor, but sadly, apt in more ways than one.
Every one of us, no matter what class we belong to, generates dozens, hundreds, and even thousands of data points every day which are stored in databases and will be called on at some point for analysis or pulled to generate a list that will ultimately feed back into the system and somehow affect our lives.
A specific advertisement will be displayed to use via our smartphone, laptop or TV monitor, or we will get some more junk mail delivered to our home or inbox, or be annoyed by a robocall during dinner.
The effects aren’t all negative.
The immense power of collected, monitored and collated data helps us find good deals and interest rates, and drives improvements in medical care and road safety.
And data as a commodity is a driver of commerce that pushes companies in endeavors that launch satellites with the goal of helping the whole world become connected to wifi, which will ultimately further education and employment opportunities.
I think it’s fair if an organization uses data collected from its own users or customers strictly for improving on their products/services for those users and customers.
Where our data goes outside of an organization that collects it should be controlled by us.
We need to be able to opt out of any and all data sharing.
And what our data is used for, by the organizations that collect it, should be revealed fully and completely to us, and we should be able to opt out of it.
Data that is about us — data that we bring with us before signing up for any new product or service — should always remain ours.
That includes all of our demographic and PII data.
Even if an organization requires us to sign up with our real name, address, phone number, and anything else, those bits of info should never be utilized by the organization for any reason without first obtaining our express permission.
Unfortunately, not every organization and company around the world believes in the sanctity of personal data, nor are they all held to the same standards or laws.
This will never be the case, so our own data safety rests on our shoulders.
It all begins at home, when our children reach the age to independently use electronic devices.
We need to inform and teach them what to watch out for and how to protect their privacy and data security.
For the everyday citizen and scrupulous companies, vigilance is the best protection.
Thank you for reading and sharing.