Just when we thought the holiday season was over, we came across another reason to celebrate: Data Privacy Day 2011 is today.
The international event is the fourth annual “celebration of the dignity of the individual expressed through personal information” put on by the non-profit organization The Privacy Projects. Perhaps in an attempt to remove itself from the list of privacy advocates’ favorite targets, Google is one of the organization’s sponsors.
With online tracking increasingly creeping out consumers and Facebook adding to an ever-growing history of privacy glitches, Internet users have indicated that increased privacy is indeed worth celebrating.
Respondents to a recent survey by Opera Software indicated that consumers in the U.S., Japan and Russia are more worried about Internet privacy than they are about terrorist attacks, being attacked in their homes or going bankrupt.
Yet despite these fears, many people still don’t delete their browser settings or use safe passwords, according to the same survey.
“It is interesting to note the gap between what people say concerns them online and what they do in practice to protect themselves,” says Christen Krogh, the chief development officer of Opera Software. “We often see that it is human nature to fear traffic accidents but not wear a seatbelt or helmet, or dread bankruptcy but continue spending, and it very much seems like it is the same for online safety behavior.”
One of the easiest ways to avoid signing up to share more information than you’re comfortable with is to read sites’ privacy policies. Just in case you haven’t exactly made this a habit (we, of course, scour every one), designer Calvin Pappas has waded through the top 1,000 sites’ policies in order to tell you what you’re missing.