Do you know where to go if you have experienced an online privacy violation or identity theft? Do you want to contribute to the fight for online privacy?
An increasing number of individuals are fighting for online privacy following rising numbers of identity theft, data breaches and hackers. Even social media giants such as Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter have suffered data breaches, in some cases leading to the exposure of data from 50 million social network users or hackers gaining access to around $100,000 in cryptocurrency.
For those of you who have not heard, a recent security breach of the social media platform Twitter involved hackers compromising the accounts of numerous well known, high profile individuals such as Jeff Bezos, Barack Obama and Kanye West. They posted tweets to these accounts suggesting that if users sent money to a particular bitcoin account, they would receive double in return.
Due to the supposed trustworthiness of the individuals posting the tweets, hackers were able to gain thousands of dollars worth of cryptocurrency.
If you, like many others have been a victim of an online attack or simply wish to ensure that your privacy is protected online, there are several ways to do this.
Do you know about the many organizations which advocate for data privacy?
#1 Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is an organization that works to protect international human rights and democracy, established shortly after World War II. Its annual budget is approximately 500 million euros.
The organization also drafted treaties advocating for privacy, such as the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with Regard to the Automatic Processing of Personal Data.
This treaty protects individuals from the harvestation and analysis of their personal data. It also empowers the individual to have a right to know whether their information is being stored and the ways in which it is used, the user can also change this if they wish. As a result of this treaty, legal safeguards are required to collect personal data such as a person’s health, religion or criminal record.
#2 United Nations Global Pulse
This initiative seeks to develop standards to protect the online data privacy of users. It also advocates for global peace, humanitarian rights and sustainable development.
Their privacy and data protection principles set out general guidance for online privacy and data protection.
#3 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
This is another organization that aims to ensure that internet users are protected from data collection and processing.
Two of their key initiatives to consider are the Digital Identity Management: Enabling Innovation and Trust in the Internet Economy and the OECD Recommendation & Guidance on Electronic Authentication.
The first initiative provides a policy for the government to adopt a clear strategy for digital identity management whilst the second provides guidance regarding party identification during transactions and identity management in the digital economy.
There are also several Non-Governmental organizations which continually fight for online safety and privacy.
#4 Center for Democracy and Technology
This organization analyses technology and how it is changing our lives more and more everyday. It also focuses on issues involving internet privacy and virtual private networks (VPN). They seek to change the composition of technology and its policies, in order to initiate a shift towards the rights of its users.
The organization works with those who make policies and ensures that regulations which achieve their aims regarding online data privacy are introduced.
Send them a message and they can point you in the right direction to rectify any privacy-related problems.
#5 Privacy International
This UK based non-governmental organization calls for strong, indisputable privacy laws online and offline. They wish to eradicate the collection and exploitation of data for profit or power, ensuring that technology empowers its users rather than taking advantage of them.
A key factor to consider about this organization is that they advocate that privacy is not a luxury and should be available to everyone. You can contact them directly through their website if you have any privacy-based queries.
#6 The Rand Corporation
This is a nonprofit global policy think tank created to carry out research and analysis surrounding several issues including data privacy.
Their Information security page informs its readers about technology and the fact that it allows individuals and organizations to access information. It describes that in order to access this information, these particular individuals or organizations must be properly safeguarded.
This page also describes the research aims of the corporation, including the investigation of threats to data privacy and information security and the implications that they have on society.
#7 Fight for the Future
Whilst this organization is a useful site to find reports and news about internet security, it also advocates for proper usage of the internet and its power.
Fight for the future (as is evident from their name) fights for the rights of internet users and their privacy, particularly aiming to protect them from large corporations who have the ability to collect and sell their data for their own financial benefit. To give your support or voice your opinion, you can contact them through their website or donate to their cause.
This is perfect for the privacy advocates out there. Join the fight.
#8 The Calyx Institute
This organization seeks to educate the public about digital privacy and online security by hosting workshops, conferences and seminars. They also provide guidelines for establishments to incorporate privacy into their sites and services, advocating that privacy should not be a privilege, but a basic human right.
The Calyx Institute believes that encryption should be used in all online tools to ensure the safety of internet users.
#9 Access Now
Data analysts can track the adverts that you view, how long you spend on a website, the accounts that you interact with the most, the posts that you like and even the messages that you type out and then delete. These tracking tendencies can affect anyone, yet those of us who are not the most technologically able may suffer more serious consequences.
Access Now highlights tracking affects the majority of internet users and seeks to protect the privacy of individuals whose data privacy has been violated. This is another resource that you can use to find updates about data breaches, privacy advancements and things that you need to know about online security.
This organisation analyses website operations in order to determine the ways that it collects and uses your data. This means that when you mindlessly click accept, you can find out exactly what you have accepted if you struggled to read the pages of technically written small print.
Once this is analysed by the organisation, the site is rated in terms of privacy, allowing users to determine exactly which sites are privacy conscious and which are not. You can reach out to them directly for help and concerns with privacy.
So, you are now fully equipped to start your online data privacy journey.
Join the privacy advocates to fight for increased security and protection of your online data. Your online activity is nobody’s business but your own.
It is not right that businesses and social media platforms can sell data without permission from users for their own profit. This is intrusive.
Use these resources to keep up to date on the latest news surrounding privacy on the web, actively advocate for change and absorb the advice given by these organisations and take the necessary precautions to protect yourself.
Reclaim your personal data. Become a privacy advocate.