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Data Privacy Day Is January 28!

Data Privacy Day is a global event celebrated on January 28 to raise privacy awareness and promote data privacy education. The day is celebrated in 50 countries worldwide, mainly in Europe, but includes the United States, Canada, Israel, and Nigeria.[1]

This article will briefly discuss the day’s history, celebration, and what you can do to make the most of it!

The history of Data Privacy Day

Data Privacy Day is the result of House Resolution (HR) 31, unanimously passed by Congress on January 26, 2009. Two days later, the US Senate passed Senate Resolution 25, making it official.[1]

These actions by the US government were a continuation of a broader effort by a group of European countries 28 years prior.

It was the Council of Europe (CoE) that, on January 28, 1981, ratified the first legally-binding data protection framework in history. The Europeans, more specifically the European Union (EU), also instituted perhaps the most robust data privacy framework in history, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).[2]

Kudos to these early pioneers and the EU for laying and building the foundation of data and security, however imperfect or divisive.

Did you know? The Privacy Bee Mission & Values Statement drives our business model. An excerpt: “We believe everyone deserves their privacy, especially online. Privacy should not be contested, bartered, nor political, but rather a basic human right.” You can read our entire Privacy Manifesto here.

Did you know? Privacy Bee offers more free data privacy resources than any other data privacy company. These free resources include a Privacy Risk scan and score, 24/7 data broker monitoring, a Zero-Trust browser extension, a DIY removal guide, and more. You can start by going here!

How Data Privacy Day is celebrated

Data Privacy Day is celebrated in various ways. Individuals, groups, and organizations participate in events promoting data privacy awareness and education. These activities may include workshops, seminars, webinars, hackathons, competitions, and other programs.

People also join online campaigns like #PrivacyAware or #DataPrivacyDay to raise awareness about the significance of data privacy.

Some organizations and businesses use this day to review their data privacy policies and systems to ensure they are up-to-date with current regulations and best practices. Finally, individuals and organizations use this day to remind themselves of the importance of safeguarding their online data.

Did you know? Privacy Bee is a data privacy advocate first and a data privacy management company second. We also support and encourage the support of various well-known data privacy advocates and associations, such as Californians for Consumer Privacy, EFF, Privacy International, and others.

Has Privacy Day made an impact?

The fact that the United States government unanimously approved a national day devoted to reminding its citizens about the importance of this critical issue is meaningful if a bit ceremonial. It does appear that, though sides may disagree on how to go about it, nobody is denying the importance of protecting our personal information and safeguarding data, including those of businesses.

A primary business concern is rigid data protection laws will cause unintended economic harm by making it harder to market and sell their product. 

Understanding the commercial benefits of data privacy can help bring business executives to the legislative bargaining table.

There’s the viewpoint that data privacy is good for business (a view we share), as it improves brand reputation, shrinks the attack surface, and mitigates risk. Indeed, bringing our business leaders to the bargaining table could go a long way in furthering any legislative efforts.

However, we’re hopeful that all sides will agree to safeguard Americans’ privacy, whether on the federal or state levels (as we’ve seen in California and Virginia.)

Data privacy day is every day, or else…

Skeptics point to the skyrocketing cybercrime rates as evidence that the move to establish Data Privacy Day was mostly ceremonial. When considering the numbers, it is difficult to argue.

For example, consider the following data:

In a 2022 press release, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported the following consumer fraud and identity theft numbers:

  • 5.7 million reported cases of consumer fraud, identity theft, and consumer complaints
  •  Over $5.8 billion in financial losses–a 70 percent increase from 2021[3]

Meanwhile, businesses and other organizations are also being breached at a record rate. Per IBM’s 2021 report Cost of a Data Breach, 83% of the 550 organizations surveyed reported being breached more than once. Moreover, the average cost of a data breach has eclipsed $9 million.[4]

In short, there is no easy answer, except for one: individuals and businesses alike must take responsibility for their data. This is one thing that is in our control.

Regardless of one’s stance on the state of data privacy in the US, there are steps that we can take as responsible consumers and citizens to do our part on January 28.

Let’s discuss three simple steps that you can take to make the day a success.

How you can make the most of Data Privacy Day

What better day to do it if you want to regain control over your data privacy? Here are three simple steps you enhance your data privacy.

Step 1: Get a privacy scan.

Unfortunately, there’s probably much more of your personal information online than you think.

There’s about a 70% chance that you have been involved in a data breach. If so, criminals could use the following information against you:

  • social security number
  • current and past home addresses
  • usernames and passwords
  • phone numbers
  • email addresses
  • credit information
  • online account information (e.g., bank accounts)
  • much more

Data Brokers have built a $250+ billion industry[5] by collecting, packaging, and selling your private data to the highest bidder. Before cleaning up the mess, you must first know who made it.

Good news: Privacy Bee will scan your information (for free) across more than 350+ Data Brokers (the most in the industry.) Within minutes, you will know if you’re in the clear or if there’s some work to do. If so, we offer you a free DIY deletion guide for each broker with your data.

To get your free data privacy scan, go here. An added bonus: we will monitor your info 24/7 against Data Broker databases!

Step 2: Cultivate a “Zero Trust” mindset (only for your data!)

What follows is perhaps the most valuable advice in the entire article: cultivate a Zero Trust mindset

Granted, this doesnโ€™t sound too cheerful or optimistic! But because of money-hungry Data Brokers and opportunistic criminals that feed off private information, itโ€™s a necessary frame of mind to have concerning your data.

  • Every company wants your private data
  • Every company shares your private data
  • Every website that you visit collects and shares your private data
  • Every email from an individual or organization (outside of your closest inner circle) is architected to acquire, share/selling your private data, legally or illegally

It is worth mentioning at this juncture that Privacy Bee offers completely free solutions to help ease some of the abovementioned data privacy pain points. For example, we offer a free Zero-Trust privacy browser extension to give you your privacy back while browsing the web.

Please read on about external data privacy solutions and Privacy Bee’s free resources!

Step 3: Consider an external data privacy solution

Whether with Privacy Bee or elsewhere, consider investing in an external data privacy management solution. A reputable company in this area can help to scan, remove, and monitor your information against data broker and company databases.

There are several advantages of choosing Privacy Bee as your partner, however. Firstly, you should remember that most of our privacy solutions are entirely free.

Among our free privacy offerings include:

  • A free Privacy Risk Assessment (checks if your data
  • A free Data Privacy Dashboard
  • Free 24/7 data breach monitoring
  • A free vulnerability scan (to check if your data was involved in a data breach)
  • An email inbox privacy analysis
  • A free DIY guide to remove your information/opt-out from any data broker site.

Privacy Bee Pro members enjoy a few essential services:

  • Proactive data removal by our removal experts (we do all the heavy lifting!)
  • Continuous deletion from data brokers and people search sites
  • Personalized alerts
  • A personal data privacy concierge

Happy Data Privacy Day! Keep your data safe!

Citations

  1. Data Privacy Day. (2022, May 21). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_Privacy_Day
  2.  Convention for the Protection of Individuals with Regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data. (2022, November 2). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_for_the_Protection_of_Individuals_with_Regard_to_Automatic_Processing_of_Personal_Data
  3.  New Data Shows FTC Received 2.8 Million Fraud Reports from Consumers in 2021. (2022, February 22). Federal Trade Commission. https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/news/press-releases/2022/02/new-data-shows-ftc-received-28-million-fraud-reports-consumers-2021-0
  4.  โ€ŒCost of a data breach 2022. (2022). Ibm.com. https://www.ibm.com/reports/data-breach
  5.  Data Broker Market: Global Industry Forecast (2022-2029) by Data Category, Data Type, Pricing Model, End Use Sector, and Region. (2022, August 23). Maximize Market Research. https://www.maximizemarketresearch.com/market-report/global-data-broker-market/55670/