The right to privacy!

Do we have the right to privacy anymore?

Data breaches all over the place

How violated one must be before legislation will look to reversing some of the information acts as well as looking at locking down other avenues of information breaches.  Security of data today is supposedly better than it has ever been but based on the news that does not appear to be true. We have seen data breaches from POS systems, Credit Card Processing Systems, Medical Systems, Social Media companies, Data Hosting companies, Cellular Vendors and this list just keeps getting longer.  The “feather in the cap” right now is probably the Equifax data breach. If you have not seen this you are living under a rock.  Here is a link from the FTC on what a consumer can do regarding Equifax.

Most common issue in data breaches

The decision to move data through the Internet. Now I know many people are going to disagree or just say I am old etc. That is true all of those things about me. But in the “olden days” we were directly connected to our data sources wires, phone lines, dsl, adsl etc. For the most part these connections were more secure than data traveling on the internet. The internet do you actually know what it is? Yes that is right many know it as the cloud too. This is the formal definition “a global computer network providing a variety of information and communication facilities, consisting of interconnected networks using standardized communication protocols.” The key thing to take note of is it is a “Global” network which means just about anyone has access to the network. The only thing that separates your data from mine is where it is growing and how it is encrypted, encapsulated and many other terms for trying to make it secure. Yet still the interconnectivity of Internet is like a giant Party Line.

Let me clarify one thing I like the internet it makes moving data from place to place cheap, it also gives me access to data I never dreamed of having. It has given rise to new ways of communicating, allow me not to leave my office for a meeting, it might have even made me lazy. But the last statement is a digression from my message. Since the internet makes things so readily available and the people have pushed the government to pass legislation of the Freedom of Information thing may be just too easy to access. As a reminder, this is what the Freedom of Information Act is “generally provides that any person has the right to request access to federal agency records or information except to the extent the records are protected from disclosure by any of nine exemptions contained in the law or by one of three special law enforcement record exclusions. For the full explanation especially the exclusions click here.

So your first thought is well that is just Federal records, well apparently States are following suit too. If you just check your local state county and city websites you will see that most have created ways to access local records, from Titles to Birth Records. Not all information is attainable but many pieces of information that make up your personal identity are.

Then you have corporate data stores that are now accessible internally by employees and externally by customers and vendors. The challenge here is to know what data companies have on you but that would be impossible because we don’t even know all the companies that have data on us. This last point proved by the breach at Equifax where individuals who do not even do business with these companies became exposed and this information may include PID (Personal Identification Data). With PID data accounts can be opened at banks, consumer credit and much more.

Medical companies and Insurance are just more examples of data exposure. Online applications, patient portals, facility to facility data transfers via for example an HL7 record. This record was defined by a set of international standards for sending and receiving health data about a patient. See more on the explanation of HL7 here. The point of this piece is that data is made

The point of this piece is that data is made accessible by standards, rules, laws, and convenience.

Users are a large part of data breaches too. Especially when it comes to privacy. From Phishing to just simple posting of private information this element is the most uncontrollable element of them all.

 

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