I remember when the first Data Privacy Day was announced in 2006 to be held in 2007. I was genuinely excited. I even tried to make a graphic, and then spent hours arguing with myself as to whether it was Data Privacy Day or Data Protection Day, and what was the difference? Were we even celebrating the same thing our friends in Europe would be celebrating?
The first Data Privacy Days of 2007, 2008, and 2009 are not archived on this blog because I was on a different CMS back then, but you can find previous Data Privacy Days on this site going back to 2010. Back then, I was listing all kinds of DPD events in different areas and different countries.
But here we are, 14 years later, and it’s hard to feel encouraged. Have we really made any significant progress in protecting our privacy, or have we just lost more ground to government surveillance and surveillance by businesses that create apps that track us and collect and share info on us without our knowledge? Are businesses protecting our data better? Are governments? Everyone says they take our privacy seriously. What we often say is that they take our privacy, seriously.
And of course, we still have no strong federal privacy law.
It’s hard to feel excited about Data Privacy Day when it feels like we’re losing more ground than we are gaining.
So instead of dreaming big about privacy, how about if everyone reading this post just takes one tiny concrete step today to protect their privacy? One small step? Maybe you’ve felt guilty over having passwords like 123456 but are afraid to create stronger passwords or passphrases for fear you’ll forget them? Then sign up for a free password manager today, store just 3 of your frequently used passwords, and then change them to something stronger and store the new ones. Add three more each day…. can you do it?
Don’t want to use a password manager or already use one? How about adding two factor authentication or multifactor authentication to your online banking account or your primary email account? It may sound intimidating, but it’s actually pretty easy to use if you download an authenticator app for your mobile phone.