The Internet…Convenience, Interaction,Inspiration and What Else?
Think about this:
That photo you took and uploaded with our GPS phone or camera can reveal the exact location of where it was taken (known as geo-tagging). Also, every time you join a social network, fill in a profile, blog, share a video, send a tweet, or post a comment, you create a digital footprint that is both permanent and potentially public. What you say and share give people an idea of what you are like as a person. Are you nasty or nice, compassionate or cruel?
At the same time, others may have published information about you. Friends (or ex-friends) may write about you or post photos of you and your family. Interest groups, clubs, and professional associations may reveal your full name, workplace or school and other details.
Online, what you say and what others say about you form your digital footprint. This information is often permanent and searchable, especially if the privacy settings of your social accounts are set to "public". In such an instance, a simple search could easily help someone piece together a composite profile of you. Potential employers do scout around for such online information to get a sense of whether a candidate is suitable. Predators may use the information to get close to you. Criminals may use the data to target you for scams or steal your identity to commit other crimes.
Organisations are also collecting information about you as you surf the web, download software, make purchases, register for a contest, or take part in a survey. They may track and collect information indicating your shopping preferences, habits and interests. These organisations may then use such data (which could identify you as an individual) for various other purposes such as customer profiling, marketing, business analytics or even to sell to other organisations and businesses as part of "database" sales.
As technology becomes increasingly sophisticated enabling the collection and processing of vast amount of personal data, questions arise as to how that data is being used, processed and protected by organisations that collect or possess them. A data protection regime is therefore necessary to address growing concerns of potential misuse of personal data and maintain trust between individuals and organisations that need to collect and use personal data for legitimate purposes.
Singapore recently passed our Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) to require that organisations balance their business or legal requirements to collect, use or disclose personal data, with the individual's need to protect their data. With the PDPA coming into force on 2 January 2013, organisations will have to safeguard personal data in their possession and you will be able to have more control over how your personal data is collected, used and disclosed. You will also have rights of access and correction of your personal data.
For more information on the PDPA, please visit www.pdpc.gov.sg.
Talk to your children and check what they are posting online. Children often unintentionally share personal information such as Geo-tagged photos or revealing their age, school and contact details. When children are on social media, teach them the importance of ensuring that the privacy settings are set to "Friends Only" and even then, to keep certain information private. One can never be too careful!
Back to top
© 2013. All rights reserved.Best viewed using Internet Explorer 7 and above, Firefox 7 and above, Google Chrome, Safari 5 and above.