28 January 2013

Celebrating Data Privacy Day

Today is Data Privacy Day; an international reminder of the importance of keeping our online presence secure and privacy and data protection.

The day began life in Europe as Data Protection Day, commemorating the 1981 signing of convention 108 - the first legally binding treaty addressing data protection and privacy, in 2008 becoming Data Privacy Day in the US and Canada, championed by the National Cyber Security Alliance.

"Data Privacy Day highlights a year-round effort for all of us to improve measures to protect our personal data,” said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA). “We want all digital citizens to feel like they have a choice in how their data is being collected, stored, and consumed and that starts with being educated about the privacy policies of online companies and Web properties. As society increasingly becomes more wired, it’s imperative we understand how to best protect our data.”

The importance of safe data management and privacy is especially pressing when dealing with mobile data. We carry our phones with us everywhere and in this age of Twitter and Facebook with geo-located real time status updates, photo uploads and financial transactions being commonplace, phone users need to be more careful than ever about what information they share with a host of social platforms and applications.

The recent MEF Global Consumer Survey showed that 35% of consumers have concerns around the safety of mobile commerce, citing trust as a key barrier to using the phone to purchase goods and services. The need for mobile commerce and content providers to think seriously about what can be done to protect consumers' data has never been more urgent.

MEF has been championing privacy in mobile since 2011 with various global initiatives and as part of this programme is currently developing an online tool for app developers that will embed best practice privacy right into the heart of app developer’s businesses by allowing them to be completely transparent with consumers about what data their app collects and how it uses it.

The tool is being developed with the help of a dedicated working group of MEF members that span the value chain, comprising developers, app store fronts, privacy experts and business development executives. 

The aim is to work towards building trust into apps from the ground up, so consumers can use apps with confidence, knowing before installation what data an app will collect and how it will use it, empowering them to decide what information they are happy to share with a wider online world.

For more information about the Privacy in Apps Initiative, contact info@mefmobile.org

Checkout the Stay Safe Online website for more information about Data Privacy Day, which has a host of resources to help you keep your digital footprint under control.

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