Data Privacy Day
Data Privacy Day

Data Privacy Day began in the United States and Canada in January 2008 as an extension of the Data Protection Day celebration in Europe. Data Protection Day commemorates the signing on Jan. 28, 1981 of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection. Data Privacy Day is now observed annually on Jan. 28.

The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), a nonprofit, public-private partnership, assumed leadership of Data Privacy Day from the Privacy Projects in August 2011.

Facebook adds Privacy Basics to help secure accounts 

Facebook is celebrating Data Privacy Day by introducing the new Privacy Basics feature to control who see what its users share on the platform.

The features are meant to improve functionality and top basics based on the most frequently asked questions about privacy and security.

The platform offers 32 interactive guides in 44 different languages and provides tips for securing accounts, understanding who can see posts and knowing what a profile looks like to others with the goal of making it easier to secure account.

Facebook said it is joining state attorneys general and other policymakers who are sharing their own privacy information on Facebook, along with organizations around the world that are working to raise awareness to online privacy issues like the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and the Center for Democracy and Technology.

Data Privacy Day: Six parental tips 

The National Cyber Security Alliance is using National Data Privacy Day as a platform to recommend to parents six tips  to better protect their kids' personal information and limit their exposure online.

Share with care. What you post can last a lifetime: Help your children understand that any information they share online can easily be copied and is almost impossible to take back. Teach them to consider who might see a post and how it might be perceived in the future. 

Personal information is like money. Value it. Protect it. Information about your kids, such as the games they like to play and what they search for online, has value ‒ just like money. Talk to your kids about the value of their information and how to be selective with the information they provide to apps and websites. 

Post only about others as you would like to have them post about you. Remind children and family members about the golden rule and that it applies online as well. What they do online can positively or negatively impact other people. 

Own your online presence. Start the conversation about the public nature of the Internet early. Learn about and teach your kids how to use privacy and security settings on their favorite online games, apps and platforms.  

Remain positively engaged. Pay attention to and know the online environments your children use. In the real world, there are good and bad neighborhoods, and the online world is no different. Help them to identify safe and trusted websites and apps. Encourage them to be cautious about clicking on, downloading, posting and uploading content.

Stay current. Keep pace with new ways to stay safe online: Keep up with new technology and ways to manage privacy. Visit or other trusted websites for the latest information about ways to stay safe online. Talk about what you discovered with your family, and engage them on a regular basis to share what they know about privacy.   

Privacy violators: Beware the Ides of March

Google requires app developers to clearly present data policies.

App developers are on notice: If your app collects user data and does not have a valid privacy policy, it might be removed from Google Play.

The developers have been given until March 15 to resolve the issue, otherwise, the notice stated, the “visibility” of the app will be limited or it will be removed.

The notice is targeting so-called “zombie apps,” the countless offerings on the Play Store lacking lucid privacy policies. Many of these products are half-baked, with many nothing more than clickbait to generate ad revenue or phony versions of more popular apps – with the protection of user data an unlikely concern. So, many app vendors applaud the move as clearing out junk from the online marketplace, which will increase visibility for their offerings.

Google requires app developers to clearly present data policies, not only displayed to users but also as part of its registration process where it must be input into a template field in the Play Developer Console. The company also requires that apps process user data using modern cryptography, including via HTTPS.

“Google Play requires developers to provide a valid privacy policy when the app requests or handles sensitive user or device information,” the notice reads. “Your app requests sensitive permissions (e.g. camera, microphone, accounts, contacts, or phone) or user data, but does not include a valid privacy policy.”

If the app developers fail to offer a link on their Store Listing page to a valid privacy policy adhering to Google's rules, the notice states their app will be obscured from view on Google Play or deleted. A privacy policy must also appear within the app itself.

A spokesperson at Google told SC that the update to Google's privacy policy (in the Google Play Developer Program Policies) was actually made last August and is consistent with industry practices. “Since then, we have been sending regular reminders to developers to comply with this change,” the Google spokesperson told SC. “This is part of our effort to improve policy awareness with developers and reduce any preventable disruption to their app's availability on Play.”