Sep 13, 2022 | Articles

Protect your Online Privacy




Reclaiming Your Privacy

The only way to fully protect your privacy, is stay offline, which is not realistic for most of us. You can, however, minimize the amount of personal data that is shared.

1. Choose Your Tools Carefully – Google provides some of the most used suite online products, mostly for free. It is extremely popular, and most sites use some of them, especially analytics tools. This tool helps you measure site usage and engagement metrics, such as page views, time on site, etc. There are, however, alternatives

A Korean engineer commissioned a gravestone for Internet Explorer, Microsoft’s now-defunct web browser.

Certain third parties provide ways to opt-out of advertising cookies across multiple sites. You can learn more by visiting the sites of the Network Advertising Initiative or the Digital Advertising Alliance. In addition, there are third-party plug-ins and apps that help manage cookies.

4. Educate yourself about the existing privacy laws – Most governments are not taking any action to protect your privacy; however, there are a few exceptions. Unfortunately, even people protected by these laws, are often not aware of them.

I know, it is not light reading, but please take the time to read it. You can exercise your rights if you do not know what they are.

1. GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) This is the first and most sweeping regulation. It was first enacted in Europe in 2018 and covers all countries in the European Union. It does also affect any company that does business with Europe, regardless of where they are located. It is a model for privacy protection laws in other jurisdictions, and recent high-profile cases have shown that authorities are willing to enforce the GDPR to protect the data rights of European citizens.

It is built on the concept of “privacy by design”, which means companies should set their defaults to the highest privacy protection and they should minimize data collection.

According to the law, EU citizens have the right to:

2. CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018)

This law, in effect since 2020, applies to California citizens and any company making business with California; is very similar, if not as strict as GDPR. It is a data privacy law that outlines standards for data collection, consequences for businesses that cannot protect user data, and rights that California consumers can exercise over their data. The law does not apply to nonprofits or California state and local governmental entities.

According to the law, CCPA:

  • Grants users rights over their data through access, transfer, editing, and deletion request
  • Give consumers the ability to opt-out of certain data-processing practices
  • Establish greater consequences for businesses that do not protect records adequately
  • Shift accountability for data protection onto businesses that collect and handle user information‌
  • Establishes the concept of Protected Data and Sensitive Data (race, ethnicity, etc.)
  • Protects customers from discrimination if they are opting out
  • CCPA: California Consumer Privacy Act Explained
Handy comparison of GDPR and CCPA –

3. CPRA (California Privacy Rights Act of 2020)

This extension of the California Consumer Privacy Act will be in effect on January 1, 2023.

It greatly expands CCPA:

  • Expands the types of data protected
  • Creates new rights, including the right to rectification.
  • The new right to restriction gives consumers the ability to limit the use and disclosure of sensitive data.
  • It clarifies many existing points within the CCPA.
  • It creates a new agency, the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA), to oversee consumer privacy.
  • And this being America, now consumers now have the right to sue over a loss of privacy resulting from a data breach.
  • Interestingly, from a UX designer’s point of view, CPRA explicitly states that consent obtained with the use of a “dark pattern” is invalid. My designer heart skipped a beat when it read it (even though we now prefer deceptive patterns)
  • cpra-10 most impactful provisions
10 most impactful provisions of CPRA pdf

Many other countries (and American States) are working on similar laws, and it would take too long to list them all. If you are interested, has a complete inventory.

Examples of Privacy laws existing and in the works

Whew, this was a lot. If you made it so far, congratulations, you are now armed and ready to protect yourself.

Follow me in part 3 as I teach you to sleigh the cookie banner monster.

Part 1 — Who Loves Cookies?
Part 3 — Conquer the Cookie Monster


originally posted on Medium on August 8, 2022




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