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Most businesses, especially ones that only recently opened their online platforms, don't take online privacy concerns into account. As a result, they have yet to face the battle of privacy that ensued when the internet became mainstream. This war has been raging on throughout the last decade, and is about to culminate, if recent rulings in the EU are anything to go by.
Such issues raise an interesting question… Why even bother? The thing is, we live in the age of innovation and automation where artificial intelligence and other technologies are to considerably enhanced our lives. Our ancestors could never even dream about this…
Unfortunately, all of these innovations come at the ‘cost of privacy'. In this age of technological advancements, our personal information could be compromised easier than you’d think. This sabotages the ability to utilise them for the better.
So, coming on to the point, when running a digital business in 2022, you have to up your game when collecting and handling data. You have to handle data in a way that is both fast, reliable, and extremely secure.
Instead of just working on numbers and operations, you also need to know what's happening behind the scenes. By this, we mean you need to modify your organisation's ethics and values, especially where it comes to confidential and privileged information.
Let us discuss in detail why it is becoming even more critical to maintain digital privacy in 2022:
Digital platforms have spread like fire during the past years. Negative consequences would inevitably surface at some point. One of the most important of them being privacy, or its absence, to be precise. This might not look so daunting or significant when we think about it from one individual’s perspective, but when we aggregate the value of data relating to billions of people, it becomes clear how enormous of an issue it really is.
For businesses, privacy may not be the number one priority, but for society, as a whole, it is a growing concern. Large tech companies tend profit from selling consumer data. Many are starting to raise their voices regarding such issues, as they start to discover how their data is being misused. Citizen awareness is constantly raising due to privacy laws passed by governments around the world.
That is why we have seen a rise in the use of VPNs and other privacy-focused software. Users even started opting for paid email services as the free ones profit from their data. Some are de-googling their digital life, and might reduce their interaction with digital business, too, if companies fail to maintain privacy standards.
As a business owner, you shouldn't just be aware of privacy regulations. Sticking to them should genuinely concern you, as it is of great significance from both an ethical and a financial viewpoint. Just because you can collect data doesn't mean you should!
Even though businesses have gobs of data at their disposal, the question shouldn't be how to collect such information but rather why collect it in the first place. Data collection and management should indeed be monitored vigilantly. Just like you audit basic aspects of your business, you should also audit what you track and how you keep it safe!
Businesses should only collect relevant data and then keep it secure at all times, as their users’ security is completely in their hands. Regulators need to intervene as the responsibility regarding such operations is exceptionally prominent.
Regulations protect end users not only from corporations, but from hackers too. Business owners never intend to breach a client's data, however, should they be careless, it is bound to happen eventually. They might be ethical in their approach, but not everyone on the internet is.
Digital privacy also impacts businesses financially. Companies that invade privacy or provide ineffective measures to secure data are being called out publicly. This adversely affects their reputation and thus their revenue. In addition, fines imposed on corporations can easily lead to bankruptcy.
So it is time for owners to recognise the importance of privacy before it’s too late. Bearing in mind how much traction privacy-focused movements have gained, focusing on protecting users personal data is a no-brainer for any company. If it's not on their priority list, they should change ASAP.
ou might never find out which companies are using your data and how it reached them. But the fact is big data sells like hotcakes. This is how large tech companies generate billions of dollars, and thus become tech giants.
How do you think mega corporations like Facebook and Google remain afloat when they don't charge you a penny? Well, they are most definitely profiting in the background. If they are not getting paid, it means you are getting played. Money isn't what they are really looking for. They are stealing something more important from you. Your data!
Let's look at what the stats have to say; as per ProtonMail, Facebook made $27 per user in 2019, while Google profited $67 per user. Now it is much easier to see why these companies give you "free" services… They are making much more money by selling customer data than we could even imagine!
So, unless we start acting regarding our digital privacy instead of just fretting over it, tech companies will keep profiting off of our personal data. Therefore, we need to take steps collectively in order to enhance our digital privacy. If we don't do so, our data will be traded for immense profits and eventually reach the hands of the wrong people. On the other side; businesses should pay close attention to every bit of regulation that is in place to protect users’ privacy.
When you want to collect data, especially in the case of web analytics, instead of using mainstream products like Google Analytics, try to find safer alternatives. Search for companies that 'sell software' instead of 'selling data’. If any tool offers free service or less than reasonable rates, it should raise a red flag. Run away from them as fast as you can…
It’s better to be safe than sorry. Stop giving these corporations free access to your data, before these they can sell it behind your back. Luckily the tide is turning, and there are many alternatives to services that misuse personal information.
Now that you understand the importance of Digital Privacy, your brain will be whizzing with what to do next. Our advice is to start small and then build momentum. Don't let digital privacy overwhelm you but don't underestimate such concerns either.
Set modest goals at first and then iterate. However, be consistent with them as people tend to slide off track quickly. Don't just make resolutions; act on them.
There should be 4 items on your privacy 'Bucket List':
With increasing internet usage, digital privacy has become more crucial. It is an ongoing struggle that entangles many small businesses and tech titans alike. In a nutshell, Digital Privacy may seem like technical tinkering, but it is connected to something bigger. Here is why:
Therefore it's time to practice privacy and practice hard. On that note, let's make 2022 an excellent year to take a step back and align ourselves with privacy laws.
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