Data privacy, also known as information privacy, is essentially the section of information technology that sets guidelines in which an individual or organization has to follow when sharing users’ data with third party organizations or individuals. It is such a controversial topic in this day in age, mainly because it is the relationship between gathering and distributing an individual’s personal information. Anywhere there is a personally identifiable information being collected and stored, there are huge concerns about Privacy and our rights as human beings.
Examples of data that can be accumulated are as follows:
- Healthcare records and personal health information
- Criminal justice investigations and proceedings you have been involved with
- Financial institutions and transactions you complete
- Biological traits, such as genetic materials
- Your location, and geographical records
- Your ethnicity
- Your geolocation
- Your web surfing behavior
- User preferences using persistent cookies
Similar to data privacy, Online behavioral trackers ‘track’ what individuals are doing on the internet: Browsing histories, email interactions, and website visitors’ behaviors. These are all stored for marketing and advertising purposes. There are two different types of trackers: First party and third party.
First party trackers save text files to an individual's computer, which allow the site to save and pull information such as data for forms they have filled out, and items they have placed in their shopping carts. This data is used so the website could cater its services to the people that are using it.
Third party trackers, similarly to first party trackers, place files on the user’s computers; however, they gather a significant amount of information that first party trackers do not. They have an infinite reach on what they can track about you. Both trackers are very controversial for the same reasons as breaching your data.