This post was originally published on Edelman’s Data Security & Privacy blog.

The average person doesn’t give a second thought to privacy. They just want their technology to be accessible, simple to use and convenient, paying little attention to what they are giving away in the process. However, this sentiment is starting to shift with highly publicized privacy issues swirling around the likes of Facebook and Google, causing the “average person” to stand up and take notice. It’s with this in mind that the National Cyber Security Alliance – along with companies like InteleBayMicrosoftFacebook and Google – recently celebrated Data Privacy Day, which culminated on January 28.

Fourth Annual Data Privacy Day

By definition, Data Privacy Day is “an annual international celebration designed to promote awareness about privacy and education about best privacy practices.” Since its inception in 2009, the day has steadily been gaining momentum, demonstrating the increased importance of companies engaging consumers on privacy issues as a way to create trusted online experiences and trust in their brand. It’s currently observed by the United States, Canada and 27 European countries. Across the globe, privacy is quickly becoming a way for companies to differentiate themselves from competitors. It’s no longer something to be ignored.

With that said, let’s take a look at some of the activities from this week:

Microsoft* put its muscle behind helping people manage their online reputations, finding 56 percent of adults don’t actively think about the consequences of their online activities. In some cases, this has led to losing employment and health insurance, as well as being denied a mortgage. Microsoft has a variety of resources regarding privacy available here. You can also check out the below infographic, detailing survey results for Data Privacy Day.

Intel sponsored and participated in several events across the world from Washington, D.C. to Brussels, encouraging industry dialogue on leading privacy issues. The company also made privacy educational material available to a network of 15,000 teachers through Intel Engage. For a full recap of Intel’s involvement in Data Privacy Day, visit their blog here. You can also view a message from Intel CEO Paul Otellini below.

 

Events are also taking place across Europe in Belgium, Denmark, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Hungary, Germany and Spain. There is a European Privacy Day booklet with a forward by international human rights expert, Paul De Hert, which you can browse online ordownload. For a full overview of European Privacy Day, visit their website here.

As parting words of wisdom, privacy is one of the hottest issues facing the online world. The momentum around Data Privacy Day reinforces the importance of engaging consumers, policymakers and regulators in a way that encourages trust and transparency. It’s essential for doing business today and maintaining brand integrity. So don’t be left behind; “Stop. Think. Connect.

*Microsoft is an Edelman client.

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