The era of datanomics, wherein data has emerged as a significant driving force in economic growth and innovation, has transformed the landscape of information management and security (Mayer-Schönberger & Cukier, 2013). With the increasing reliance on digital technology, concerns over data privacy and security have grown in tandem (Acquisti, Brandimarte, & Loewenstein, 2015). In this context, limiting data sharing and diversifying data providers are critical strategies for defending against the inherent risks of datanomics. This post examines these strategies and provides examples of their implementation, highlighting the importance of proactive data protection measures.
Limiting Data Sharing
Sharing personal data with third-party entities carries inherent risks, as data can be vulnerable to unauthorized access and misuse (Solove, 2006). A study by Marthews and Tucker (2014) found that limiting data sharing to a few trusted entities, such as financial institutions, healthcare providers, and educational institutions, can help reduce the risk of data breaches and unauthorized data usage. Implementing robust security measures, such as encryption and multi-factor authentication, can further mitigate these risks (Cisco, 2020).
Diversifying Data Providers
Relying on a single data provider can also increase the risk of data breaches and unauthorized data usage (Maurushat, 2018). Diversifying data providers, such as using multiple cloud storage providers, email providers, and social media platforms, can help limit the potential influence of large AI companies (Arakpogun et al., 2020). This diversification enables individuals and organizations to reduce their reliance on a single provider and distribute their data across multiple platforms, effectively minimizing their exposure to potential breaches (Maurushat, 2018).
A Recent Example
The Equifax data breach of 2017 exemplifies the potential risks of datanomics (Hoffman et al., 2019). The breach exposed the personal data of over 147 million consumers, including social security numbers, birth dates, and addresses (U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2018). The breach occurred due to a vulnerability in Equifax’s website software, which allowed hackers to gain access to sensitive information (Hoffman et al., 2019). The potential impact on affected individuals was immense, including the possibility of identity theft, fraudulent credit applications, and financial losses (Federal Trade Commission, 2018). This incident underscores the importance of limiting data sharing and diversifying data providers to prevent similar breaches in the future.
Government Regulations Are After The Fact
While government rules and regulations can provide some protection for personal data, they have their limitations (Greenleaf, 2018). Most effective attempts to prevent data breaches and unauthorized data usage occur after the fact, making it difficult to prevent such incidents (Romanosky et al., 2011). Recent data breaches and the shortcomings of government regulations in preventing them further highlight the need for individuals to take personal responsibility for protecting their data (Greenleaf, 2018).
Limiting data sharing and diversifying data providers are critical strategies in defending against datanomics. The potential risks and consequences of not taking action to protect personal data are significant, ranging from identity theft to financial losses (Solove, 2006). It is essential for individuals and organizations to take proactive steps to implement these strategies in their daily lives. Suggestions for implementation may include limiting data sharing to trusted entities and diversifying data providers. By doing so, individuals and organizations can better safeguard their personal data in the digital age.
For More Information:
- National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) – Explore guidelines on privacy engineering to better understand how to protect personal data: https://www.nist.gov/privacy-engineering
- Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) – Review resources on data privacy and learn about tools and strategies to protect your digital information: https://www.eff.org/issues/privacy
- NN Labs – Learn more about an AI-driven content provider that focuses on data security and privacy: https://www.nnlabs.org
- European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – Understand the legal framework for data protection and privacy in the European Union: https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/law-topic/data-protection_en
- Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) – Discover research, policy analysis, and expert insights on emerging privacy issues and technology trends: https://fpf.org
- Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) – Find resources and support for victims of identity theft and data breaches, and learn about prevention measures: https://www.idtheftcenter.org
- Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC) – Access resources and tools to help individuals protect their privacy in the digital age: https://www.privacyrights.org
Arakpogun, E. O., Elsahn, Z., Prime, K. S., Gerli, P., & Olan, F. (2020). Digital platforms and the changing nature of physical work: Insights from ride-hailing. International Journal of Information Management, 52, 102067.
Cisco. (2020). Cisco Annual Internet Report (2018-2023) White Paper. Retrieved from https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/executive-perspectives/annual-internet-report/white-paper-c11-741490.html
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Mayer-Schönberger, V., & Cukier, K. (2013). Big data: A revolution that will transform how we live, work, and think. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Marthews, A., & Tucker, C. (2014). Government Surveillance and Internet Search Behavior. SSRN Electronic Journal. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2412564
Maurushat, A. (2018). Data breaches and the need to diversify data security strategies. In A. Maurushat & D. Svantesson (Eds.), Access to Information and Knowledge (pp. 235-254). Edward Elgar Publishing.
Romanosky, S., Hoffman, D., & Acquisti, A. (2011). Empirical analysis of data breach litigation. Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 9(1), 96-141.
Solove, D. J. (2006). A taxonomy of privacy. University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 154(3), 477-560.
U.S. Government Accountability Office. (2018). Actions Taken by Equifax and Federal Agencies in Response to the 2017 Breach (GAO-18-559). Retrieved from https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-18-559