Today marks the ninth Data Privacy Day (DPD), an international effort held annually on January 28 to create awareness about the importance of privacy and protecting personal information. DPD, led by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) in North America, is the signature event of NCSA’s year-round privacy awareness campaign and is centered on the theme of “Respecting Privacy, Safeguarding Data and Enabling Trust.”
To coincide with DPD, NCSA and TRUSTe released the U.S. Consumer Privacy Index 2016, which reveals the extent of current consumer privacy concerns. According to the research, consumer privacy concern levels are rising quickly: 68 percent of consumers listed not knowing how their personal information is collected online as a top concern, compared with only 57 percent who ranked losing personal income at the top. Additionally, 45 percent of respondents are more worried about their online privacy than they were just one year ago; and 37 percent of respondents listed companies collecting and sharing their personal information with other companies as a top cause of concern.
Despite Americans’ growing awareness of, attention to and interest in privacy issues, more needs to be done to educate consumers on how their information is collected and how to manage their privacy. While 92 percent of U.S. Internet users surveyed worry about their privacy online (and 89 percent say they avoid companies that do not protect their privacy), only 30 percent understand how companies share their personal information. As our digital lives become more connected, many consumers are unsure of what happens to the vast amounts of personal information generated through their online activities. If consumers knew more about online privacy, they would do more to own their online presence. The Consumer Privacy Index indicates a need for better privacy awareness: consumers must learn how to better protect their personal information and manage their privacy.
We encourage consumers to use available tools and take actionable steps to manage their privacy, like limiting access on social media, keeping apps, software and devices up to date and understanding the value of their personal information. To better understand how to own your online presence, check out our new privacy video:
Take Action Today!
NCSA encourages everyone to join our greater awareness and education effort. NSCA’s privacy awareness campaign is an integral component of STOP. THINK. CONNECT. – the global online safety, security and privacy campaign. You can support DPD and privacy awareness today by tweeting “I am #PrivacyAware, are you? Learn more at stopthinkconnect.org.”
Additionally, consider taking a moment today to register yourself and/or your organization as a DPD Champion. Champions – including businesses of all sizes, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, academic institutions and individuals – represent those dedicated to respecting privacy, safeguarding data and enabling trust. Nearly 400 organizations – and nearly 100 individuals – have already signed up in support for the month! Being a Champion is easy and does not require any financial support. Learn more and sign up here.
Finally, you can stream our DPD event – The State of Privacy – starting today at 10:30 a.m. EST/7:30 a.m. PST. In partnership with the Computers, Privacy & Data Protection Conference, NCSA will host revered leaders from both sides of the Atlantic to initiate a practical and solutions-focused dialogue addressing the current state and future of privacy. To view the livestream, register for the event here.
We hope you will join us in supporting DPD 2016 and help spread the word about how digital citizens can better own their online presence and why privacy is good for business.