January 28 is significant data in the privacy industry. Known as Data Privacy Day (Data Protection Day in Europe), this day focuses on raising awareness of online safety practices and safe data handling. Companies in any industry and individuals with online data can and should observe Data Privacy Day in a way that’s right for them.
But what is right for you? Where did Data Privacy Day even come from? Let’s find out.
Origins of Data Privacy Day
Data Privacy Day has its origins in the EU. When a poll revealed that most EU citizens didn’t understand their legal privacy rights, the Council of Europe and the European Commission held the first Data Protection Day in 2007 to begin raising awareness. But why January 28 in particular? The date was chosen as a nod to the day the Council of Europe established the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with Regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data, also known as Convention 108, in 1981. Data Privacy Day continues to be observed on this date as a tribute to its history.
In 2009, two years after the EU instituted Data Protection Day, the US began observing Data Privacy Day. While not officially declared to be a copycat version of Data Protection Day in Europe, the influence is obvious. Both the European and American holidays share the same date and purpose.
For more information about the origins of Data Privacy Day, take a look at this summary from the IAPP.
How to Observe Data Privacy Day
Ultimately, Data Privacy Day is about raising awareness of online privacy issues and educating people on proper data management. While the day is largely focused on consumers, companies should consider their own data usage as well. Here’s what the day might look like for different audiences.
Data Privacy Day for Companies
For a company or business, Data Privacy Day could take the form of major activities such as:
- Conducting an internal privacy audit
- Removing old or incorrect data from the records
- Sharing educational material on your blog or social media
- Prioritize replying to customer DSARs
Even if your business isn’t part of the privacy industry, you still deal with the same laws any other business would. Take Data Privacy Day as a chance to ensure your compliance.
Data Privacy Day for Customers
Customers can observe Data Privacy Day in more personal ways. And since this awareness campaign focuses on online safety as well as privacy legal compliance, you as an individual might choose to use today as a chance to install a new antivirus software or even to contact local government representatives about upcoming privacy laws you support. Other possible activities include:
- Reviewing how many companies you’ve given your personal info to
- Submitting DSARs to these companies to review your data and request removal of anything you’d prefer them not to have
- Reviewing your social media pages for anything that reveals too much personal information
- Running a deep virus scan on your devices
- Educating your friends or family members on how to best protect their own online privacy
Even a customer who carefully restricts the data they provide to companies can accidentally reveal that data online in other ways, such as through a careless social media post. Take Data Privacy Day as a chance to audit your online activity and improve your control over your own data.
Protecting Your Privacy Year-Round
Data Privacy Day is an excellent day to protect your own privacy and encourage others to do the same. But online privacy and data protection is an everyday battle. Individuals shouldn’t wait for a certain date to submit DSARs or reevaluate their online presence, nor should companies only audit their privacy setup once a year. Instead, use Data Privacy Day as a chance to educate yourself and others on year-round data protection. Stand up for your own privacy rights and make sure you aren’t violating someone else’s.
Interested in learning more about maintaining the privacy and legal data management all year? Get in touch with us today.