Headline June 17, 2018/ ''*PRIVACY -{DIGITAL}- PARLOUR*''


YOU HAVE PROBABLY NOTICED a flood of emails and alerts from companies in the last many weeks informing you about changes in their privacy policies. Don't ignore them.

Yes, there is a lot of legislation to wade through. But resist the temptation to immediately delete these emails or close the alerts right away. They may contain important information about managing your digital privacy at a time when it has become clear that our online data is far from safe.

All those privacy messages are appearing now because a law called the  General Data Protection Regulation will go into effect across the European Union.

The law has been heralded as the world's strongest protector of digital privacy rights. And while it was designed for Europeans, the borderless nature of the online world has virtually every commercial entity that touches the web making changes in its sites and apps to comply.

The Data regulation law centers on two main principles:

The first is that companies need your consent to collect your data. The second is that you should be required to share only data that is necessary to make their services work.

Danny O''Brien, a director for the Electronics Frontier Foundation, offered this analogy :
''A birthday cake company needs your name to put on the birthday cake. If it isn't essential information, you can deny them the consent to use that data and you'll still have to get the service.''

If companies don't comply with the new rules, they can be fined up to 4 percent of their global revenues. But you should expect businesses that rely on advertising revenues to work hard to persuade as many of us as possible to give our consent for them to collect as much data as possible.

Companies can do that by making it easy for people to give permission, and immensely complicated to opt out.

So to ensure that you benefit from the new law, it helps to examine the revamped privacy policies we are all getting. Here is what to look for.


Let's start with those pesky email and notifications. Don't gloss over them - some sites are using the not only to inform you of their updated privacy policies, but also to ''ask'' for your consent.

For example, Quora, the questions-and-answering site, sent an email this week saying that its privacy policy had been updated.

Towards the end of the note, it tucked in a message that ''your continued use of the service will be considered acceptance of our updated terms.''

A Quora spokeswoman said the company complied with the new data law by seeking affirmative consent from users as required. The company said the email explaining the particular changes in its privacy policy did not require consent, but that it would update the language in its email to be less ambiguous. The language has since been updated.

Other sites are using ''pop-up'' notifications to seek consent.

The clothing retailer Taylor Stitch, for example, recently started showing a banner ad that explains how cookies are used for web tracking. The note that added by closing the banner ad or interacting with its website, you were agreeing with site's data collection terms. The company did not respond to requests for comments. 

Here's the problem : Companies clearly know that we rarely [if ever] read privacy policies. They also know that we find the notifications to be annoying, because they pop us just as we are in the middle of another task.

But if we ignore them, we may be unintentionally giving consent to more of our data being shared than we actually want to give out.

''That pop-up fatigue is definitely something I'm worried about, now that these pop-ups are really more important than ever,'' said Gennie Gebhart, a researcher who follows privacy issues for the  Electronics Frontier Foundation.

The Honor and Serving of the latest Global Operational Research on *Data and Privacy* continues. The World Students Society thanks author and researcher Brian X. Chen.

With respectful dedication to !WOW! - The World Students Society, Leaders, Technologists,  Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all ''register'' on : wssciw.blogspot.com - The World Students Society and Twitter-!E-WOW! - the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Tech & Trim '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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