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How Much Data Does Your Organization Share Without Consent?

 spy looking at laptop next to them, spying on rival, stealing information, sneaking a peek, taking inquisitive glance at computer screen of unaware person

How Much Data Does Your Organization Share Without Consent?

Do you know how much personal data your organization and employees have shared across the web?

The answer to that is likely “no,” because for many, there is no clear way to understand just how much we have shared. Sure, the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal is the latest to grace our news feeds and cause an uproar about data privacy, but at the end of the day, how much has really changed? Yes, we know that our data was wrongfully shared, and yes, we know now that these processes exist – but the damage has been done. And with so much money to be made with your data, you can be sure of one thing – this isn’t the last scandal we’re going to face.

It’s Not Just a Privacy Thing

To first understand the importance of this data breach, we need to go back before Cambridge Analytica was ever a scandal. Consider when Edward Snowden, the former NSA consultant, leaked his classified information on spying programs the US had across the globe. After the initial uproar began, one of the few sentiments against the use of this data was the “I have nothing to hide” defense in favor of the government collecting this data. And while that may have comforted some Americans after the Snowden scandal, that sentiment does not apply to Cambridge Analytica.

The truth is, when a company like Cambridge Analytica uses collected data, it’s not for national security or to protect citizens – it’s for sale. And when a company is selling your data, your insights, to another company or cause, everyone becomes a victim. If this data can be used to sway a democratic election, what else can it do? Ideally, we would not like to find out.

Privacy Is Beginning

The backlash of the Cambridge Analytica scandal has good news and it has bad news – the good news is that it’s created massive support for Article 8 – Protection of personal data in the FRA to make privacy a basic human right. The bad news? That’s only in Europe.

Well, the regulation for all organizations is only in Europe, but Facebook as recently agreed to roll out these new privacy initiatives – as well as some other initiatives targeted towards teenagers – to users all across the globe. It’s a start, but to get something like these regulations rolled out in the US would take a lot of political power – which means that until it happens, smart business owners need to remain wary of their privacy and shared data.

The Next Step

So how can you try to secure the data your organization and employees share? Some organizations like Tesla have gone ahead and deleted their Facebook pages, but those motions are PR than practical – and could hinder your online marketing efforts.

Keeping your data secure is about proper employee security training and ensuring you have your bases covered on the cybersecurity front. The easiest way to do both is to partner with a leading IT consultant to help keep your organization’s digital life on track. When you partner with a team of experts like NENs you can focus on your work while we focus on the data security.

 

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—Kristen Hammond
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