International Data Protection Day: new year and old threats

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The date of January 28 is considered Data Protection Day. It marks the anniversary of Council of Europe Convention 108 on the Protection of Personal Information, the first legally binding international law in the field of data protection, and is commemorated each year by the 47 countries of the Council of Europe, as well as by institutions of the Union. European.

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The date reinforces the importance of protecting fundamental rights of freedom and privacy related to the use of personal data. This is the second year that Brazil celebrates the International Data Protection Day with the full force of the General Law for the Protection of Personal Data (LGPD) and with the action of the National Data Protection Authority (ANPD). Created in 2020, the ANPD has, among its missions, to manage the personal data of the Brazilian population and the applicability of the LGPD.

The European law GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) was a pioneer in the protection of personal data and was born with the greater principle of minimizing information to process only personal data necessary for a specific purpose, an integral part of building and strengthening the online protection of individuals. .

Inspired by the GDPR, the LGPD was created so that Brazilian citizens have control over their personal data and to establish the rules for processing such data by public and private organizations. The Law brings some benefits, one of the main ones being the right of the person (consumer/citizen) to know exactly what data is being collected, why and who is sharing it, and, more broadly, how this data is being treated.

Currently, our lives are managed in the digital world, from the online banking app, government records, digital documents and other services, to entertainment applications on mobile phones, our data passes through countless computers. When using these services, we leave a trail of digital traces that constitute, with greater or lesser precision, our digital identity. We use this digital identity all the time to demonstrate who we are by logging into our various online accounts and thus having authorized access to specific services, such as, for example, access to a government interface for the purpose of paying taxes or our emails and social networks .

In this way, a lot of personal data can be well or badly used. There is, therefore, an ongoing and strong need for online trust and accountability to protect individuals and society from the risks of widespread and targeted surveillance, in order to avoid undermining fundamental rights and freedoms, including democracy.

How to ensure your data is protected?

Here are some top tips:

  • Create complex passwords and change them frequently;
  • Take control of your information on social media. Review the privacy policies and check what they will do with your data and only give consent if you actually agree.
  • Do not let your cell phone, notebook or computer be accessed by strangers. Sign out whenever you leave email, social media. And clear browsing history about visited websites. Opening an incognito tab in your browser may be the safest option;
  • Protect your machine from virtual attacks. Keep antivirus and firewalls up to date, and try to browse and download via trusted sites;
  • Make your Wi-Fi connection more secure: don’t keep factory settings, change router login and password and don’t put network names that can identify who you are. In the case of cell phones; disable automatic connection, so you don’t run the risk of being automatically connected to unknown and potentially dangerous open networks;
  • Do not make personal information available to unknown persons without an extremely specific purpose. For essential physical or online registrations – fill in only the necessary details and carefully.
  • On social networks, configure your profile so that your publications are only seen by people you really know. The less your data, tastes and preferences are available, the greater the security.
  • Uninstall apps that are no longer in use and cancel accounts for services that are no longer being used.
  • Remember, you can always request the complete deletion of your data from online services and you can request that all data stored by these companies be sent.