The matter of fact way in which big companies seem to think they own and have a right to private and personal information about us is worrying. The following paragraph is lifted verbatim from a Juniper Research blog today:
The next step is to combine this with, say, healthcare data achieved through large-scale remote patient monitoring, to achieve a more accurate picture of the individual through knowledge of that individual’s peers. It may not be an exaggeration to say that we may be on the edge of a new era where individual circumstances are routinely informed through precise data analysis of a data “cloud”.
The DNA of Big Data
If you think, don’t worry, the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will keep our privacy safe, think again. On Friday Ross Anderson attended a GDPR lobbying meeting in London. He has thoughtfully published his notes in the Cambridge University Light Blue Touchpaper blog:
There were about 100 people present, of which only 5 were from civil society. Most were corporate lobbyists: good-looking, articulate and impressive, but pushing some jaw-dropping agendas. For example the lovely lady from the Association of British Insurers found it painful that the regulation might ban profiling that was unfair or discriminatory.
How Privacy is Lost
It’s worth reading in full – but I’m afraid it doesn’t get any better. And when you add the more direct lobbying of companies like Google and Facebook, I think we can confidently predict that the GDPR that emerges at the end – if it survives at all – is going to be vastly weaker than the one that started out last year.
Statistics – don’t you just love ‘em?
“91% of people trust business to keep data safe despite rise in breaches” is the headline announcement from Varonis today.
“Only 3% say that their data is very secure with social networks and 11% say the same about online retailers,” concluded the Economist Intelligence Unit earlier this month.
Now I’m no mathematician, but this adds up to just one thing for me: don’t believe anything anyone tells you – and that includes me. Make up your own mind because everyone else has an agenda that may not be in your best interests.
Hint: always err on the side of distrust; you may be pleasantly surprised, but you won’t be disappointed, and you’ll almost certainly be right.