The recent FaceApp controversy and the Facebook’s indulgence in Cambridge Analytica data scandal are two of the most well known examples which tend to quote us the real meaning of personal data and how it is being exploited by ad and marketing agencies across the world.
So what constitutes to “Personal Data”
In the world of Information Security, obtaining a definition for Personal Data is pretty vague. All records personal to our banking accounts, social security number and health records make up to sensitive info which when exposed to hackers could spell doom for us. At the same time, some critical details posted on social media, location data, search engine queries can put an online user in jeopardy by exposing them to threat actors who are often in lookout for such information to blackmail their victims at some point of time in future.
Who likes to buy this data?
In many cases, the data you give and the services you get might not prove worthy. But there is another breed of underhanded businesses which try to make money out of this info by targeting the data givers with relevant ads to boost sales and services of companies and clients. In some cases, data brokers often give out data to hackers who practice ‘Doxing’ where they publicly sell huge amounts of data to hackers without their user’s consent. This is devious and malicious but happens all the time in todays world.
What’s the future for data collection?
As things are becoming more and more digital, currently personal info is being collected only from those who are using PCs, tablets and smartphones. But in years, the situation will change on a drastic note as people start using smart speakers, IoT, connected cars and censor embedded clothing and health monitoring devices. Adding to it is the innovations being presented by Tech companies which mostly do not ply with data collection standards prevailing across the world like in the EU.