Helping to Keep Personal Data Safe
What is Data Privacy Week?
Data Protection Day originated in Europe to commemorate the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection. Now, the celebration has expanded to an entire week and is recognized worldwide. The mission of Data Privacy Week, observed January 21-27 this year, is to inspire dialogue and empower individuals and companies to respect privacy, safeguard data and enable trust.
Data Privacy Week, which encourages people everywhere to take control of their digital footprints, is run by the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA). NCA advocates for the safe use of technology and helps governments and corporations work together to foster digital good.
Everything you do online generates data. Every time you shop, click, scroll, like, message, play and more, you are generating data. This personal information has tremendous value to businesses. The landscape of privacy and data protection laws and regulations continues to grow more complex. Companies with global operations that wish to advance the privacy rights of individuals and enable innovative products and services must comply with these laws and deliver meaningful data security to their customers; this can be challenging for many companies and difficult for people when trying to figure out if the apps and companies that hold their data are keeping it safe.
How We Help People Protect Their Digital Lives
For Gen, empowering people to take control of their digital lives is in our DNA. Security, transparency, and accountability are built into everything we do, and products like Norton Secure VPN protect a person’s online privacy by hiding the computer’s address from websites visited from any device. Norton, a part of Gen, also offers Norton 360 Deluxe, which can prevent activity or location tracking, as well as information theft, installation of malicious programs and uninvited changes to devices. We recently launched a product donation pilot program, donating up to 5,000 of these free product licenses to survivors of domestic violence to help them recover from financial or technological abuse. These products are also donated or discounted to nonprofits through our partnership with TechSoup.
Five Ways We Help Keep Customer Data Safe
We focus on five essential elements to help keep customer data safe. Check for these key practices:
- Accountability. At Gen, we hold ourselves accountable by defining our principles, conducting internal and external audits, empowering employees at all levels of the company to proactively consider privacy and data protection, engaging in continuous improvement processes, and constantly scanning for new risks and opportunities. For more details on Gen’s Privacy Operating Model, see page 34 of our 2023 ESG Report.
- Security. We secure personal data using appropriate technical and organizational measures to protect integrity, confidentiality, and availability. Our security monitoring alerts us to suspicious activity, and we have a robust incident response program.
- Essential rights. We take a principles-based approach, going beyond regional data protection laws to provide essential rights to our customers, such as access and deletion, regardless of whether there is a law requiring it.
- Transparency. Privacy policies are often difficult to read and understand. We work to make our policies as clear and detailed as possible. We provide additional support articles and easy access to contact information to make it easy for customers to exercise their privacy rights and get their questions answered.
- Customer-First Privacy by Design. In everything we do, we strive to anticipate, identify, and prevent invasive events before they happen. Privacy measures should not be add-ons, but fully integrated components of the system. We only collect personal data for specified, clear and legitimate purposes. And, we only collect as much personal data as we need to achieve those purposes.
This Data Privacy Week, we encourage you to do a quick review of the companies and apps that have your information. Do they have systems and policies in place to keep your data secure? Will they let you delete your data? Are they explaining what personal data is collected and why? Do they respect your rights to control how your data is used? Remember, it’s your data and it has value. Be selective about who you choose to do business with and thoughtful about what information you are providing. And, no matter where you are in your data security journey, we hope Data Privacy Week serves as an important reminder to exercise your rights to safety and privacy.