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Privacy can be understood as the right of every individual to separate aspects of their private life from the public domain, all human beings have this right. When we talk about digital privacy we refer to this privacy protection in the field of cyberspace.

Currently, this right to privacy is being put to the test, since both governments and the private sector are taking advantage of technology to access the most intimate sphere of citizens, not always with justifiable objectives.

For this reason, it is necessary to promote public policies that safeguard us from these abuses and protect our right to privacy. In fact, many countries work to update and improve laws in this area.

What are the limits of digital privacy?

One of the first open front limits in legislative matters is related to the protection of the data of Internet users. Although they do not determine all aspects of privacy, they are a good starting point as a basic element to ensure our personal information in this technological world, since they are an essential part of our digital identity.

The first step in this matter has been given by the European Union with the entry into force in 2019 of the “General Data Protection Regulation” (GDPR), where legislation is in place to protect these new rights. This regulation is innovative, defining rights such as: “the right to be forgotten” or the right to oblivion, which gives citizens the possibility of requiring companies to delete their personal data in certain circumstances.

The limits of privacy can be disputed, understanding that it is not an absolute right. It is the discussion that arises when the authorities request access to certain personal information, to the companies, for a criminal investigation.

With the increased terrorist threat in recent years, governments have invaded, to some extent, the private space of their citizens, with the excuse of national security. It is important that we, as a society, have to be careful and have to define the limits of this invasion in order to avoid violation of this fundamental right.

There are also cases where we decide to give up certain aspects of our privacy, to get something in return. For example: when we buy online, we use a public Wi-Fi, etc … But in some cases we are not aware of what we are giving or to whom. To avoid these abuses is for what is legislated in this regard.

Digital privacy and businesses:

The right to privacy concerns not only individuals but also companies. Especially since their credibility and the trust of their clients may be affected in the event of an incident, as public opinion begins to be aware of the matter.

That is why, in the business world, privacy begins to be implemented by design, which will mean a substantial improvement in management models, processes and tools in terms of security.

This positive change is due to the recent legal reforms, such as the GDPR and the proposed Electronic Privacy Regulation (ePrivacy), which will complement it, whose entry into force is scheduled for 2019. And also, that users are increasingly more and more demanding.

As users we have rights which we can demand from companies:

  • they inform us of what personal data they collect and what is the use to be made of them.
  • the request for consent is clear and explicit (it is no longer concealed in the Terms and Conditions).
  • a request for consent for each service, without linking it to others, such as for advertising purposes.
  • the right to oblivion, in other words, to request the deletion of our data and withdraw the consent.

In conclusion, the concept of privacy is evolving and adapting to the new technological reality. All the actors involved are regulatory bodies, companies and users, and we are becoming aware of their importance and we are learning to manage it.

Privacy is a right, defend it!