2 answers

Regarding the convenience that comes with improving technologies, what is being done with our digital information security?

Asked North Haledon, New Jersey

As the digital world become a bigger staple in people's everyday lives and more technological advances are constantly being made, what about the security risks concerning having a lot of personal information on the web? Should I be worried about big companies using my information for marketing strategies? #tech

2 answers

Joan’s Answer

Hi Po-Lun,

The internet has definitely become pervasive and a very important part of our lives. Questions of privacy come up a lot! When I started working in Software my concern was how to build better software and slowly it started becoming about how to protect the data we receive. I started as an software engineer, moved into InfoSec, and eventually added Privacy knowledge to my role. While I wouldn't say this is the journey for everyone, it does seem to be a journey many people are going through because they are interested in building safer and efficient applications. Thankfully, where there might not as much interest in this path, regulations are popping up and getting more robust when it comes to security and privacy matters. We are learning more everyday about what privacy means as well as how to protect end-user data. Some examples are GDPR (which Oluseyi already mentioned) and the California Consumer Privacy Act. These get us closer to a place where Privacy matters will no longer be optional or "nice to have" but a requirement if you want to have an online business that uses identifiable customer data.

Some places to read about CCPA: https://www.caprivacy.org/

Joan recommends the following next steps:

  • Read about Privacy and InfoSec a bit more to learn where they overlap and where they might not
  • Most websites and applications have a privacy notice which should go into detail around which data of yours they use and how. They might often be tough reads but it pays to skim through it for any red flags such as "we will share your data with third parties for marketing/advertising purposes" or "we own your data and can do anything with it."
  • Maybe consider a career in InfoSec or Privacy if you're passionate enough about this issues to be asking these questions!

Oluseyi’s Answer

Updated Seattle, Washington

Excellent question! Significant advances have been made to ensure people's information is stored safely and with the appropriate intentions. For example, in 2018, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) was passed in Europe because "<span style="color: rgb(8, 14, 20);">"The digital future of Europe can only be built on trust. With solid common standards for data protection, people can be sure they are in control of their personal information," said Andrus Ansip, vice-president for the Digital Single Market" (</span>https://www.zdnet.com/article/gdpr-an-executive-guide-to-what-you-need-to-know/). Companies such as Facebook and Google have been under intense pressure to protect our data and information as well. As a result, these organizations are implementing new rules and regulations, asking consumers permission before proceeding, and encouraging people to agree to "cookies" before viewing websites. (https://eugdprcompliant.com/cookies-consent-gdpr/). Rest assured, the more that technology advances, the more that companies will step up to protect our data.

Oluseyi recommends the following next steps:

  • I recommend that each time you visit a new website, to look at the consent pop-up before proceeding.
  • If a website needs to connect to your facebook, check to see what information it needs to get from your account.