Data Privacy Day 2013

Posted: 1/28/2013
Did you know today is Data Privacy Day?

By no means a national holiday, it is a rather underrated initiative by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA).

A public-private partnership involving the government, NGOs and academia, it aims to "educate and empower a digital citizenry to use Internet securely and safely". The illustrious board members include ADP, AT&T, Bank Of America, Facebook, Google, Intel, McAfee, PayPal, Microsft, Symnatec and others.

This year, the NCSA is collaborating with Facebook for a live showcase of the Data Privacy Day Kick-off Event on January 28th, 2013 from 8.30-11.30 a.m ET.

A special forum to discuss "data stewardship, privacy innovation and implications for the personal information in an on-demand mobile environment", it has also released a digital book "Lol...OMG" (available on Amazon.com) for high school kids with the specific aim of better online reputation management.

The Data Privacy Day is celebrated on 28th January every year accross the United States, Canada and 27 Council of Europe member countries. However, the US House of Representatives officially declared January 28th as the Data Privacy Day in 2009 only. The mission statement of DPD is to organize events that "stimulate the development of technology tools that promote individual control over personally identifiable information; encourage compliance of cyber laws and create a dialogue among the stakeholders". The theme this year is "Respecting Privacy, Safeguarding Data and Enabling Trust".

To trace back its inception to Europe, in 1981 the Convention for the Protection of Individuals signed the Convention 108 - a first of its kind international treaty for privacy and data protection. Added to this Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights also extends privacy safeguards to web users.

Besides being an educative initiative, it is celebrated with much gusto in the cyber circles with top firms bringing out latest privacy and security options for its users this day. In fact, Microsoft has conducted an interesting study among 1000 Americans to arrive at some startling results.

Microsoft's Chief Privacy Officer Brendon Lynch, has shared interesting finds of the survey here:

1."Forty-five percent said they feel they have little or no control over the personal information companies gather about them while they are browsing the Web or using online services, such as photo-sharing, travel or gaming."

2."Four in 10 said they feel they totally or mostly understand how to protect their online privacy."

3."An equal number of people (39 percent) said they are turning to friends and family, as well as company privacy statements, as their top source for privacy information."

4."A third of those surveyed (32 percent) said they are paying attention to companies' privacy reputations, track records and policies when choosing which websites to visit or services to use."

Interestingly, since DPD is a non profit initiative, it is actively sponsered by its member corporations. While Intel is the Platinum sponsor, others like Facebook, AT&T, Microsoft and Google have extended their hand too. Added to this small businesses are also entering the fray with Reputation.com being a prime contributor this year.

We acknowledge this enlightening initiative to make the cyber space a better platform to help our e-commerce entrepreneurs to act and interact safely.

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