Since the introduction of digital media, companies have been trying to provide better user experiences while trying to make profits. Yet today, many of them still have confusing privacy and digital data collection policies. Shouldn’t they be less concerned with profit making and more focused on ensuring their consumer data is secure and confidential? Also, you should still be able to retain all the rights of ownership and copyright of your original material. Here are important facts you should take into consideration when it comes to the security of your digital data.
Privacy and Digital Data Collection Policies
Sharing Digital Content With Third Parties
Popular websites such as Google, Yahoo, Facebook and Twitter routinely share their user’s information with third parties. The extent of the shared information can vary significantly based upon each website’s privacy policies. The wording of these policies can be very tricky for a typical online user to decipher. You are led to believe that the information will only be shared in order to enhance your browsing experience or strickly for advertising and analytical purposes. The decision to provide consent to release your information is completely up to you. Companies should never disclose confidential data to any third parties without ensuring these parties will not abuse this sensitive information.
Copyright and Ownership of Original Digital Content
Every time you post any content on a website you are running a risk of loosing the right to your original material. Michael Krigsman pointed this out in his article “Google Plus: Is privacy an Issue?” Many websites such as Google force you to give up your right to any content you post. By submitting content you give Google a …
“… perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit.”
This type of consent should be first discussed with a lawyer or a legal professional. Unfortunately, it’s a typical situation and it is usually widely accepted behaviour. Digital companies should provide services to their users while still respecting their rights of ownership and copyright.
Your Rights, Your Decisions!
Next time you visit a popular website make sure you read all the privacy policies in detail. Many companies sell their consumer data to advertisers and paid subscribers. They can also store your information in other countries. You may never know how safe is your data once it leaves your country of residence.
You can also loose your privacy and your information may be shared with third parties. The content you post may become the property of the website you posted it on. This means you will loose the ownership and copyright to your original material. Unbeknownst to you, your content could be altered, reproduced and shared without your knowledge.
These issues still remain largely unaddressed by many popular websites. Privacy policies can change frequently so you need to stay informed. They may affect you in ways you are not familiar or comfortable with.
- Google Privacy and Terms, Google
- Krigsman, Michael, “Google Plus: Is Privacy an Issue?” Beyond IT Failure, ZDNet
- Sullivan, Danny, “Google Puts A Price On Policy.” Search Engine Land
How do you feel about your digital privacy? Are you concerned? Do you always read the fine print before using an online service or an app? Share your thoughts in the comments below.