Data Dignity

What it Means and Why it Matters

Data dignity can be defined as a person's right to have their data and information to be treated ethically and for the individual to have choice and control over how their data is used. From a cybersecurity perspective, this matters because while data dignity is more of an ethics issue the practical elements of ensuring data dignity fall partly under cybersecurity especially when it comes to data protection and privacy controls. 

Application of Data Dignity

At the moment users might feel empowered but at the same time, they don’t. Distrust is high. And if the technology companies believe that consumers really like to share their data because they think it will make everything better and they “love” them, think again: many have simply given up when it boils down to their data, let alone, their privacy. They feel powerless, not empowered because they know they really don’t know what happens with their data and can’t control it.

It’s the trade-off fallacy. And, on top of respect, it’s the very reason why transparency and truly respecting and caring about data matters. Moreover, it makes business sense. As the Annenberg School for Communication found: “people who know more about the ways marketers can use their information are more likely rather than less likely to accept discounts in exchange for data.” We have to remember that data is crucial to the information age. There would be no technology, no media, no nothing without it. In fact, digital transformation is a matter of data and the right information.
The things that can be achieved with data are amazing. Data-driven marketing can lead to the most possible relevant and creative outcomes. Data – and the insights and knowledge can be turned into value – can make customer service truly work. Also, data even saves lives, enabling us to explore the world and can make our lives better. Look-up, big data and medicine. 

Yet, there is another side. Once users knew what happened with all the data they shared, they came cynical toward technology companies. More users are becoming savvy and cautious of what information they are willing to share with companies since they have a better idea or lack of what and how their data is being used for. 

Current Solutions to Reaching Data Dignity

At the moment the best for companies to achieve data dignity is to follow the best ideal practices that are laid out in the GDPR, ePrivacy Act and the California Consumer Privacy Act. Already, companies are moving to give users greater control over how their data used. See Facebooks new privacy tool as an example. But major change will require a radical shift in the business models of technology companies that rely on selling data to advertisers. 



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