Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Brief Update

Thanks to the innovations of the last few decades, technology is reshaping everything: how we live in our communities, how we raise our families, how we grow our businesses and enterprises, and even how we interact with the government. In today’s digital world, all sectors from healthcare to banking to private business to government are inundated with data. 

As we embrace and rely more upon a data-driven society, it’s important to understand the dangers associated with data and how to keep our data safe. At the heart of the issue of data privacy and data protection is individual freedom. America is built on the principle that no one individual or group has the right to control another individual. Today’s computing power enables companies (and governments) to intercept, layer, and analyze seemingly disparate data to draw conclusions about individuals. All digital users should understand what data privacy and protection mean and know how much data is worth; being informed allows individuals to be in control of what is shared or not shared. Individual responsibility, control, and competition amongst platforms would ensure both privacy and protection. 

Ways to Get Involved/What You Can Do? 

The U.S. needs to keep pace with technological advances to be at the forefront of global digital innovations and protect national security. At the same time, citizens cannot sit idly by and let the government or the private sector run the show. The combination of educated citizens and proper oversight mechanisms in line with democratic values will protect the rights of individuals from excessive government or private sector control and empower individuals to take responsibility for their data.

The purpose of this brief is to prompt you to think about your own data. How much do you value your privacy? How do you define privacy? It is a national issue, a state issue and a local issue because your schools and your cities are all targets for cyberattacks. You can: 

  • Find out what your local and state  government institutions are doing to protect your data. 
  • Find how your health data is protected and shared. 
  • Look at your data protection and practices at home and at work. 
  • Review the list of legislation presented above and invite your representatives in Congress to discuss their position on the topic with your Policy Circle.  By voicing your interest, you draw their attention to the topic.

What is the role of government, business, and legislators in protecting privacy and connectivity? Kick off the New Year with inspiration and plan a Policy Circle conversation with The Policy Circle Mini Brief: Data Privacy and Cybersecurity to learn more.

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