At the end of this blog is a simple enough question, with serious ramifications if you can't answer it.
The recent revelations around the way Facebook handles our data is sure to shock some people and make them angry, and rightly so.
While most people probably did understand that Facebook had access to their data on some level, the depth of data mining and how careless Facebook were with that data is mind boggling.
It’s clear that everyone with a Facebook profile have submitted a huge array of data on ourselves, our interests, hobbies, locations and our friend’s lives as well.
It would be naive to think Facebook wasn’t collecting all of this data, but perhaps the most startling of all is how seemingly careless they were with it. If we are to believe that Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook didn’t realise our data was being sent to Cambridge Analytica, doesn’t that just highlight the complete apathy and disregard for their user’s privacy.
This whole issue relates to a broader problem as we rely more and more on the cloud and the companies that run them to ‘do the right thing.’ It can be easy to forget that when we send that information up into the cloud that it has to actually go somewhere and live in physical infrastructure that somebody owns.
There are plenty of nefarious organisations that tell you not to worry about your data and that servers are now irrelevant but that is simply not true. Whether you’re using a cloud based app, or uploading photos to a website, or just using social media, that data lives somewhere that is owned by someone.
There will be more of these stories in the future and it’s clear to see that consumers are becoming more aware of their rights in regard to data and privacy. They expect business to be taking steps to ensure their privacy and keep their data safe, pleading ignorance is no longer an acceptable excuse.
As Australia moves forward with privacy protections and new laws like the Mandatory Data Notification Act, it is imperative that businesses know where their data lives and who has access to it.
It’s no longer just the moral thing to do, you now have an obligation to protect and report on your client’s data.
So where is your data right now?