Technology

Data Crimes that Affect Your Privacy

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The ‘Big Data’ doesn’t add up when you think of the amount of data that you barely generate every day. But that is just your perspective. Every internet call you make, all the people you talk to on group chatrooms, every person you follow, your pictures on online photo saving sites, and even the notification you swipe along as useless, is all data you generate. This is how Big Data can be explained, every person’s electrical and digital activity generates data that is used for the betterment of online and offline experiences, sometimes to track unlawful usage of the same.

Although it is a lot of data in your name, you barely store any of that on your devices or hard drive. Big Data is what you contribute to on the internet. Like every system on the planet, Big Data, too, has loopholes. Your personal information makes it easier for others to assume important things in your life. These assumptions, often correct, fall on your plate as a security concern for private data and to an extent even your livelihood and life.

Data crimes are not a new thing in the history of the internet. There have been many known people who have been named cyber terrorists. You can add 2 and two. If there is terror being committed on the internet, the list below is only the upper layer of data crimes that generally affect common individuals and businesses.

What are Data Processing Laws and how do People Break Them?

When you’re generating, operating, and storing the data of your family or business, you’re considered the controller. A controller is an entity that has control over the usage, sharing, and deletion of data. A processor on the other hand is an entity that can take over the handling and processing of data on your behalf.

The processor is only allowed to use the data for calculations and processing information, they cannot delete or share data without your consent. That being said, a controller’s obligations towards data laws, do not end in presence of a processor. There are three umbrellas under which the basic data crimes are covered. Data Laws consider these activities to be an offense and are marked under cybercrimes.

  • Unlawful Procurement and Disclosure of Personal Data

Hacking into someone’s personal device is the most common kind of unlawful data obtaining. Data thieves use your personal data to access things on the internet or to provide it to people who want to use it against you. There have been many instances of using one’s pictures to blackmail them or forge them to defame one’s dignity. Data thieves can access your computers and phones. But having separate online photo storage that keeps your photos safe from third-party codes and bugs can help protect your privacy and that of your loved ones.

  • Re-identification and De-identification of Data

All of us have big chunks of data on private and government platforms that are identified by us. This data can either be something as small as your regular shopping website username to something as big as your public identity proofs that are in sync with your bank accounts. Data that we no longer attribute ourselves to are processed by us to be de-identified. But cybercriminals can reverse the process and use your identity to access things from your private life or to make transactions in your name to get away with illicit activities. This is called illegal re-identification of data or identity theft.

Instances of such crimes can be- in the use of personal data to take the cover of someone else’s identity, using someone’s identity to enter unauthorized places, or making a copy of data to access banks and private funds. A secure third-party data storage is recommended to prevent such theft of your authenticity.

  • Alteration of Data to Prevent User’s Access

The data that you generate online, saved from the internet, or is accessible on a shared connection can be accessed by cybercriminals and hackers to infect or alter it. This offense simply keeps you from accessing the data and you cannot prove yourself innocent if it’s used for illegal activities. Sometimes important data is just held back on your device and access is denied until you pay a certain amount. Ransomware attacks are the most notorious types of data alteration access blockage crimes committed against common individuals.

Loss of data, documents, and precious pictures can be very hard to take. Protect your data with the use of secured cloud storage drives and online photo storage services.

Taivan Acer
the authorTaivan Acer