January 28 is National Privacy Day, a time to work on privacy rights for every living person. However, more than one person has commented that the date should be called “Privacy is Dead Day” or “Lack of Privacy Day.” The current state of big data collection and “sharing” (selling) by online giants and telcos, combined with the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to draw intrusive inferences about us from all that data has shown that no one has true personal privacy today. (See http://bit.ly/2ROZKI4 for one person’s opinion.)
Regardless of today’s sad problems, the day is supposed to IMPROVE today’s privacy problems. According to Wikipedia:
“Data Privacy Day (known in Europe as Data Protection Day) is an international holiday that occurs every 28 January. The purpose of Data Privacy Day is to raise awareness and promote privacy and data protection best practices. It is currently observed in the United States, Canada, India and 47 European countries.
“Data Privacy Day’s educational initiative originally focused on raising awareness among businesses as well as users about the importance of protecting the privacy of their personal information online, particularly in the context of social networking. The educational focus has expanded over the past four years to include families, consumers and businesses. In addition to its educational initiative, Data Privacy Day promotes events and activities that stimulate the development of technology tools that promote individual control over personally identifiable information; encourage compliance with privacy laws and regulations; and create dialogues among stakeholders interested in advancing data protection and privacy. The international celebration offers many opportunities for collaboration among governments, industry, academia, nonprofits, privacy professionals and educators.”
In addition, Treaty No.108, called the “Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data” states that:
“This Convention is the first binding international instrument which protects the individual against abuses which may accompany the collection and processing of personal data and which seeks to regulate at the same time the transfrontier flow of personal data.
“In addition to providing guarantees in relation to the collection and processing of personal data, it outlaws the processing of “sensitive” data on a person’s race, politics, health, religion, sexual life, criminal record, etc., in the absence of proper legal safeguards. The Convention also enshrines the individual’s right to know that information is stored on him or her and, if necessary, to have it corrected.
“Restriction on the rights laid down in the Convention are only possible when overriding interests (e.g. State security, defence, etc.) are at stake.”
The Convention also imposes some restrictions on transborder flows of personal data to States where legal regulation does not provide equivalent protection.
You can read more about National Data Privacy Day in the following web sites:
Stay Safe Online website sponsored by the National Cyber Security Alliance: https://staysafeonline.org/
Data Privacy Day and the Internet Panopticon: https://www.cybrosys.com/camfecting/index.html
Treaty No.108 – Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data: https://www.coe.int/en/web/conventions/full-list/-/conventions/treaty/108