Internet usage is growing by the day. As usage grows, so does the amount of information shared. A lot of information is shared voluntarily. People create profiles for social media sites, join email lists and download white papers. With every interaction, data is voluntarily given.
Companies monitor clicks, identify trends and create targeted ad campaigns. Personal data is a goldmine for companies and hackers. From email phishing scams to ransomware, there are a number of threats that make personal data like passwords, bank accounts, and credit card numbers, vulnerable. Internet privacy is one of the fastest-growing concerns among online users.
Research shows that 68% of users are concerned about not knowing how their personal information is collected online and used. And the concern is only growing. Forty-five percent of consumers are more worried about their online privacy than they were a year ago.
Which country has the best internet privacy?
Norway offers the highest commitment to internet privacy. Australia follows in second place. In third place is Denmark, fourth place is held by Sweden and Finland holds the fifth spot in internet privacy.
The country with the lowest privacy on the internet is China, Uzbekistan follows in the second-lowest place. Cambodia has the third-lowest commitment to internet privacy, while Vietnam comes in fourth lowest. Zimbabwe holds fifth-lowest place.
The United States is in 18th place and India is ranked 34th place amongst a total of 100 countries.
Privacy Concerns increased worldwide
Data privacy is at the center of core issues all countries are trying to solve today. Privacy advocates have been requesting more stringent privacy laws and governments have responded. The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has served as an effective blueprint for new privacy laws. Recently new privacy laws have come into effects, such as Brazil’s LGPD, the United States’s CCPA, and more. Under GDPR, there have been over 146 fines imposed on organizations totaling $463 million USD. With the European Union leading the charge, over 80+ countries have enacted data privacy laws and more are soon to follow. This is in response to a plethora of global data privacy issues: online data profiling, internet of things (IoT) devices, a high number of data breaches, facial recognition, data sovereignty, and the list of problems that need to be solved could go on.
You may ask, “Why is any of this important or how does it affect me?” Let’s use an online profiling example. For our purposes, we are going to rebrand this for what it is — psychological targeting. Psychological profiling is inferring people’s psychological profiles from their tweets, likes, and purchases. This data is bundled together and used to create a “profile” of the individual. At first, this seems harmless, as it’s used for beneficial purposes such as providing recommendations on Netflix or helping to decide what you want to eat. Not until the past decade have governments become aware of how profiling can be weaponized and used maliciously. Cambridge Analytica provided great insight into how organizations are building profiles of individuals and targeting specific advertisements to further influence elections. Weaponized profiling is interfering in elections on a global scale. Some notable countries are the United States, Brazil, and the United Kingdom; but every country is prone to weaponized profiling. This, of course, is a more extreme example. But nonetheless important for us to
understand how privacy affects individuals on a global scale because, under certain privacy laws, this type of profiling is illegal.
Privacy regulations are largely needed. However, are government regulations enough to tackle internet privacy? The answer is no. Government regulations across the globe can only make rules for companies to comply with. Companies are coming up with innovative ways to circumvent these laws and technology becomes an enabler in this pursuit.
Is Privacy on the Internet Possible?
Think about this, what if you had a product that was not built on the business of showing relevant ads to you, profiling you to sell the data, and collect the data to build a business on top of the collected data, etc.
A product purely built on providing Internet Privacy to consumers is www.houm.me.
Houm is an innovative consumer internet product that is focused on creating real privacy on the internet like never before. We are focused on bringing back real digital privacy on the internet for the consumer, via the revolutionary concept of ‘private ownership on the internet by the end consumer’ – a first of its kind!
Essentially, Houm enables each consumer to build and actually own a private place on the internet – a digital home. You can create your private network inside your Houm and communicate privately with the inner circle of people in your lives via Private Chat, Private Voice Calls, or Private Video Calls. It’s a first because it enables consumers to have houm to houm communication (with their own domain) without any other organization including Houm Technology being able to intercept or analyze the interaction. Pls see houm.me/FAQ to get more information.