Privacy Policy - Personal Data

Privacy Policy – Personal Data

Hey! Welcome to day three of our exploration into Privacy Policy.

Yesterday we dealt with what is a privacy policy. Today we are going to look at what exactly is personal data because a privacy policy is basically about what we do with personal data. Personal data what do you think it is?

As far as i can see it is in the words actually. Personally data is basically any bit of information about you that helps me identify you. It helps me build up a picture of what you’re like. It helps me build up a picture of how much you earn. It helps me build a picture of where you are in the world, the kind of work you do .

All that little bits of information, when put together makes you personally identifiable. I can get a rough picture of who you are, where you are, what you might even be doing from all the little bits of information.

Information that can personally identify you as a particular type of person could include information like your first name, your surname, your date of birth, your federal id number, or your ni number in some countries, your phone number, your credit card number, your home address details. It can even stretch as far as your IP number, the number used by networks to identify your location on a particular network. I even think it could begin to stretch even beyond those number issues. For instance when you think about the iPhone and the fact that we have begun to use in apps, fingerprint recognition. That’s a personal identifiable bit of information about you. And guess what the new iPhones now also take in facial recognition. Again a piece of information about you. So any bit of information about you that can help us build up a picture, that will help us identify you, is your personal data.

As you can see, I dont know if you are like me and do phone banking? They ask you for certain bits of information which help them verify you are who you are. So for instance you call up and okay i want my balance and they will say okay can we just do a verification on you, do a check. What do they ask you for? They ask for things like your date of birth. They ask you for things like your postcode. They ask you for things like what was your last transaction you did. They may even go as far as asking you for your card numbers. All those bits of information they are asking for are bits of information that help them personally identify that you are you. That’s the same personal data that you are giving out and submitting in websites.

Now you can imagine that if someone has that access to all those bits of information and you will notice for instance in Google when it asks you to do verify passwords, they have what they call the secret question. In the secret question most times they ask you for things that are really personal to you. They will ask you what was the car you drove when you were young, what was the school you went to, what was the maiden name of your mother. All these, personal bits of information help them get a personal picture of you and they are able to identify you as a person and verify. Now when its for banking purposes or for insurance purposes or other purposes like logging on and getting passwords back and you are sure of the site, brilliant! Your personal identifiable information is being used correctly. However if you submit all these bits of information that help people know that this is how you are represented by your data or identified by your data, to the wrong site because you have not read the privacy policy of what they are collecting, you can imagine how it can also be misused.

So Its a good idea in a privacy policy for your visitors to your site to clearly tell them what kind of personal data you will be collecting and hopefully limit the amount of personal data you collect from them. If you dont need their credit card details, home number or telephone number dont collect it. On the flip side if you are a user of a website, you yourself, because website owners also use other peoples websites, be careful how much of your personal data you put out or submit. If you are being asked to submit a lot of personal data then check their privacy policy, understand why they need so much, what they are going to do with it and who they are going to share them with. I hope this helps.

From the point of view of building up your privacy policy you will need to be able to state what personal data you are gonna require visitors to your site to submit. Limit the amount of personal data you are going to request, especially if you dont need it and you are not going to use it. This will help you create a statement regarding personal data that is succint, short, sweet and to the point. If you do collect masses of data, clearly state what that data is and what you are going to do with it.

That ends todays session on personal data.

I hope it helps you.

We are moving along nicely with our own privacy policy. You might want to check our site.

Tomorrow which is the fourth day of this particular exploration we are going to have a look at basically the different clauses that might be contained in a privacy policy. How to begin to construct it. How to begin to put it all together so that it actually does what its meant to do which is outline clearly to your website visitors, what you going to collect, what you are going to do with it, where you are going to store it and how you are going to protect it and who you might be sharing it with.

Hope you have a lovely day and i look forward to talking to you again tomorrow.

Thank you.

This is Yetunde Johnson from Slingshot Technologies.

Bye for now.

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