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GovBytes: Do you give up your right to data privacy at the door?

Happy belated Data Privacy Day! This past Saturday marked the official U.S. Data Privacy Day, recognized by Congress in 2009. However, it seems that, regardless of how we value (or claim to value) data privacy, its an ever waning asset. The loss of data privacy comes at a heavy price, potentially allowing corporations to make decision such as whether or not we’re hired, fired, given good health insurance rates, and even whether or not we are likely to pay back a loan. For Data Privacy Day a panel was held at The George Washington University School of Law. Panelist Federal Trade Commissioner Julie Brill had this to say:

“Might there not be a day very soon when these analysts offer to sell information scraped from social networks to current and potential employers to be used to determine whether you’ll get a job or promotion? Or to the bank where you’ve applied for a loan, to help it determine whether to give you the loan, and on what terms?”

Is Data Privacy a Relic of the Past?

Brill recommends a user-friendly database where people may find out what information was taken and where it went. National Cyber Security Alliance executive director Michael Kaiser agreed that measures must be enacted to protect data users and pointed out the significance of the day, saying:

“We hope the official Data Privacy Day 2012 event will encourage digital citizens to become more vigilant about how their personal data is being consumed, stored and used by other parties online.”

Is the amount of data being collected on people overbearing and downright creepy? Should the government step in and do a better job of protecting our private data from online brokers? Or, since we choose to use these services, do platforms such as Google and Facebook have a right to sell the information they collect?

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