We all know of the multiple security breaches, the hacking, the selling of data and how data is the new gold. We all run and hide behind whatever privacy protection enhancements we can possibly find. But is that really enough? All these settings are just a distraction from the fact that we do not have data ownership.
All the information that you upload, search or even speak into your phones, do not belong to you legally. Most of the time data ownership still lays in the hands of your cloud service providers. They can peep into all your data and sell whatever they can. This only happens because when we want to start using a new service most providers ask for access or for permission to do so as a clause before granting you permission to utilise their service.
In the name of optimisation, most providers sell your search data and even though you quite like the results, personalised ads, but do you think that privacy is still enough? That we can stop at knowing that our data is now private but still accessible to the company whose services we so gladly use?
The above data provided by Pew Research says otherwise. Even after multiple privacy settings, which are constantly changing; can we really trust the companies with our records? First, they take basic data, i.e., name, age, etc. then, they move onto more important data, our account details and details of our entire life. Cloud storage is definitely a boon, but some providers entice us with by providing us with “free services” as long as we allow them to use and sell our data, ironic much?
Privacy is losing its meaning.
We never really read the terms and conditions of data privacy and just tick away on agree. Nowadays these terms and conditions are constantly changing and the frequency of our clicking away has been ascending, increasing the risk of losing control through loopholes that might be present in those scripts. So again, is privacy really enough?
Providers, read our data, store it, own it and promise us privacy; yet again and again, we are asked to allow them to use and recreate our data. This results in our data being publicised in ways we never bothered to imagine, millions of us lose our data or the terms of privacy and protection of data are voided due to security measures that are invalid because we do not pay enough attention to what the provider is asking of us.
The year 2017 has been ranked number one in terms of the number of data breaches in a year hitting a high of 1,293 data breaches. The following years weren’t much better 2018 and 2019 data breaches keep being termed worst one after the other. Why does this happen?
This happens because we allow our data to be open to the servers which in turn get hacked and the disasters follow. We do not have enough ownership as is and we sign away whatever is left for better services.
Imagine that day, when somebody has everything on you and all you get is “We apologise for the inconvenience…”
This is what has happened with Facebook, data gone is gone. Your privacy ends.
What do we do now?
From our own experience, we realise that privacy isn’t enough now. The one thing we targeted isn’t enough to keep us safe anymore. The only way out… Data ownership. Until and unless we stop the peeping, put a door in place which cannot be opened unless we allow it to be, we are at risk.
To understand, consider your data to be your product which you produce on a land; land being the cloud storage you use. The land is given to you for free, or so you think. When you take the land, you allow the provider to use your product to grant you with benefits. The provider sells your products, earns a huge profit and provides you with pennies. You're happy because you’re getting pennies for a product you thought was useless. But then they ask to see more of your products, then they ask for permission to recreate it and store it.
After a while, they ask for permission to use that re-created product.
So now you build a fence so that your product can’t be copied or used by anyone else, but the provider still has access to your land, to see everything you do in it and occasionally use your products or ask for permission to use them.
That fence acts as the privacy policies protecting you. Even though privacy policies stop others, they don’t stop the servers. The servers are still the landowners. To have the utmost security and privacy, you need to buy that land. You need to buy the cloud storage you’re so happily using. Privacy policies only act so far as a fence and ownership of the cloud and data act as a door and a wall; only you can allow who sees what and so on.
Thus, privacy is step one, the goal is data ownership.