Do You Have a Strange Relationship with Your Personal Data?

What your data can reveal about you and how it can be used. Know your rights.

We have a strange relationship with our personal information. We leave it everywhere, usually without a second thought. We say we care about privacy, and we’ve all read horror stories of identity theft, global tech giants selling us out to advertisers, manipulative political profiling and more. Yet, we continue to play very fast and loose with that which we say we value.

How familiar are you with your rights when it comes to the protection of your personal information?

Many countries have legislation in place to protect the personal information of their data subjects (consumers and organisations), such as the General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR), which was adopted by the European Parliament in early 2016. And, South Africa’s data protection law, the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) enacted in 2013. Other countries are quickly following suit.

We know there’s a need for data protection laws and we (loosely at least) understand the gravity of what can be done when personal data lands in the wrong hands.

But many of us are unaware of the magnitude of our personal information which is available out there, whether shared by ourselves or others. We also do not seem to fully understand what exactly can be done should the wrong people get their hands on even a sliver of our personal information.

To better understand the extent of this, consider the following:

Ever wondered how a company you have never heard of or dealt with and never opted-in to, has your contact details? This is often due to the sharing, selling and distribution of data subject’s personal information without our explicit consent. While this is now unlawful, thanks to legislation such as GDPR and POPI, it’s still a regular occurrence leaving many consumers vulnerable.

Or, when you install an app and it requests access to your phone, social media accounts, photos, email, calendar, contact list, and location? Why does a game or a simple utility want or need all that?

What actually is the point of having a passcode on your phone? What are you protecting and from whom when you have already granted such thorough access?

Most of us simply don’t know what we are consenting to, or why.

Had a bad experience with your bank and wrote a review online? From this information alone, someone with malicious intent now knows your name, who you bank with. And depending on what platform you use, the information available on that platform (gender, marital status, email address, cell phone number, the city you live in, interests, maybe your birthdate and more). This is sufficient data for many illegal acts including identity theft and fraud.

Even something as simple as forgetting to update your postal address with your bank when you move to a new house. This could result in the new resident in your old home receiving your bank statements and some of your banking information.

What can you do to keep your personal information as secure as possible?

Along with the many advantages of our modern information age comes responsibility. We each have a responsibility to keep track of, update, manage and protect our own personal data. This insight forms the base of the product called permyssion (my permission). It’s one platform for our complex lives, where you securely manage all your personal information.

The permyssion platform changes the rules by putting you in charge of your own data.

A secure and structured platform enables you to manage, in a private digital location, all your personal information. Identity and family information, estates and Wills, financial portfolio, professional and employment details, medical information and accounts, loyalty/rewards, municipal accounts, social media accounts and more.

With permyssion you can easily and securely share data with trusted parties, giving them consent to specific information for a selected period of time.

Another advantage of permyssion is the seamless flow of up-to-date information to you through integrations with leading financial information providers. When updating policies, Wills, property evaluation etc. these data points allow for third parties to not only update this on their systems but yours as well – eliminating the need for physical paperwork.

With permyssion, you are in control, managing your data securely, holistically and end-to-end.

Efficiency, privacy, and peace of mind. It’s time to start mending that strange relationship with your personal data.

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