Keeping personal information private has always been important, but this is even more critical in this digital age when the collection of data has become exponentially faster and easier.
Every time you go online, you are sending out information about yourself to a system somewhere. Sometimes, it’s deliberate, such as when you fill out forms to create a social media account, buy something online, subscribe to a newsletter, or apply for a government document. In other cases, you may not be aware that the website you’re visiting is collecting information about you.
Among the personal data usually collected by different websites are:
- Your name, address, gender, email address, and telephone number
- Your date and place of birth
- Your SSS, GSIS, PhilHealth, passport, and other government-issued identification numbers
- Your credit card information
- Any criminal record
- Your medical history
- Your web cookies, or information on your online activity, such as the sites you visit, any information you have entered on a site, and others
These data could be shared with a third party and used without your permission, making you the target of advertisements and promotions by text, email, and the like. More importantly, if these data are accessed by unauthorized persons or by those with malicious intent, you’re put at risk of being a victim in a crime and other far-reaching repercussions.
Here are some of the top reasons why data privacy is important:
- It reduces the risk of identity theft, a crime where someone uses your personal information without your permission and assumes your identity, typically to get access to your resources, such as your credit card, bank accounts, SSS benefits, and others.
- If you have a business, it helps prevent your data from being accessed and used by your competitors
- It protects your privacy. Privacy is a fundamental human right. If you’re like most people, you wouldn’t want others – particularly strangers – to know about the details of their lives. When people you don’t know or are not close to have information that you want to keep private, it can make you feel unsafe, violated, and uncomfortable.
- It limits the power other entities have on you. The government, for example, can collect personal information from the population and use this to influence popular decisions or have better control over people’s activities. The same is true for large companies who want to influence you into buying their products.
- It protects your reputation. How others see us is very important in our careers, businesses, social activities, and more. People can make judgments about you when they get snippets of your personal life without seeing the entire picture.
- It protects your freedom of speech and thought. Knowing that someone is monitoring or getting information on what you say or what you’re interested in can hold you back from doing certain activities and speaking freely.
In some cases, the right to privacy may be superseded by more important issues, such as national security, the prevention of a crime, or the apprehension of a criminal, but these incidents are very rare. Those in authority must have the proper justification to violate anyone’s privacy.
Whether in business or your personal life, you need to understand data privacy laws to ensure you’re in compliance and your rights are protected. Get in touch with FilePino at +1.806.553.6552 (USA) or +63.917.8922337 (Philippines) to find out more.