Just last Thursday, US News reported the death of CISPA, a controversial bill focused on cybersecurity (CISPA stands for the Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act). The bill is controversial primarily because it, as PC World notes, “creates a high level of immunity from lawsuits for the government and private companies that share data.” It also raises a lot of questions.
One question, however, really sticks out: what rights to privacy do individuals and businesses have online today?
Protecting Your Data Privacy
As a company dealing with secure information on a regular basis, you should be concerned that the answer may be more complicated than you think.
If CISPA had passed, the worry would be that, “by collecting and sharing so much network-level data, businesses could put sensitive and private information about their employees and customers in the hands of an intelligence agency”—obviously a problem with so much sensitive data at hand (Information Week). Right to privacy from a technological standpoint is a big issue, and rightly so.
The good news is that much of what we’ve mentioned above regarding information privacy is hypothetical and would only be in effect, technically, if CISPA passed (which it didn’t).
The bad news is that the type of data sharing that CISPA would legalize may already be happening.
According to The Verge, “internal government documents obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center have revealed that the US Department of Justice is secretly helping AT&T and other service providers evade wiretapping laws so that the US government can conduct surveillance on parts of their networks.”
In case that isn’t clear enough, at least one ISP—and possibly more—has been recorded conducting this kind of data sharing on multiple occasions, with the blessing of the government—a scary thought in terms of privacy and data security, not only for individuals, but for companies as well.
What we can say is this: if you or your business deals with sensitive data or information, you should always be extremely cautious about what information you put online or even just store on hard drives. Not doing so could, in the worst circumstances, lead to your customers’ data getting into the wrong hands.
We Can Help!
Contact Datashield today to make sure your business is taking all of the necessary steps to ensure the security of your data—especially given today’s ever-changing climate surrounding data privacy.