Sharing your personal data with companies? Here’s what you should know — including your rights as a user

In view of Privacy Awareness Week, we are featuring the following article on data privacy, what users should know and how we endeavour to protect our users’ sensitive information. Find out more about Privacy Awareness Week here.

The topic of data privacy has consistently come under the spotlight after many high-profile data breaches in recent years. With globalization and rapid digitization, our data is being stored, tracked and transmitted on the Internet more than ever before. It is no wonder then that consumers are concerned to know where their data is going, and to whom. In fact, consumers are now increasingly becoming selective about the type of data they share, according to a McKinsey report.

Fortunately, there are regulations in place such as the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and Singapore’s PDPA (Personal Data Protection Act) to ensure that users’ data is kept secure and confidential where necessary. While these are good regulations for protecting consumers, they are mandatory for companies operating only in those geographical areas. Thus, not all companies that you share data with provide you with these extensive rights and transparency.

In our case, although our company is based in Singapore, we still endeavour to follow the strictest regulations based on the GDPR and establish equal rights for all of our users regardless of which region they may be based in. This is partly due to the fact that we have a global user base but also because we greatly value the trust that our users have placed in us. After all, with great power comes great responsibility.

While we cannot speak for other companies, we believe that companies should in fact aim to have equal rights for all users like us to ensure fairness across the board and take the initiative to be more transparent about its policies.

Your rights

As a consumer or user of a company’s services, you are entitled to certain rights. These are usually stipulated in a company’s Privacy Policy guidelines. They are often made up of very long chunks of text, which understandably, puts people off from reading through it. However, we highly recommend going through these to make sure you know what you are getting yourself into by using a company’s product or service.

To help you, we have compiled a list of key points that every user should know about their rights.

  1. You can withdraw your consent to use data

When consent is required, you can always withdraw your consent for a company’s services to which you have previously given such consent. For instance, by disabling GPS location sharing, push notifications, camera or microphone in your mobile device settings.

2. You can opt-out from marketing communications

You can choose if you would like to receive marketing communications from the company that is providing the service to you. If you choose to opt out, you just need to follow the directions stated in their communications.

3. You can correct your data

If you possess an account with the company which is providing a service to you, you have the right to edit any data or request the company to correct your data in the event of inaccurate information or if you simply want to update information such as your name, email address or contact number.

4. You can access your data

Companies, at least those following GDPR standards, would allow their users to request for a copy of their own data, usually in an electronic format, to know what data the company possesses. The most common way to submit a request is via email.

5. You can delete your data (and no, we are not joking)

Finally, it may not be obvious, but yes, you are able to delete your data! According to the GDPR, it is actually mandatory to give users the flexibility to delete their data if they wish. This can be done simply by requesting the company to delete your account or data from their service by following their procedure to do so. So if you want to disappear from our platform one day (or any platform that follows the GDPR for that matter), you can do so (don’t say we didn’t tell ya).

Be careful of websites or apps with no privacy policy

For users, it is perhaps reassuring to know that there are at least some companies which do take the matter of data privacy quite seriously. Platforms like Apple’s App Store, for instance, make it a requirement for app developers to include information about their app’s privacy practices, as well as those from third-party partners whenever they submit new apps and app updates to the App Store.

On the other hand, you should be wary of services such as apps that do not even have a Privacy Policy at all! While still fairly uncommon, it never hurts to be extra careful of such services or sites as these lack legal documentation and you might not be able to do much should things go awry with your data.

How we safeguard your data at Truffle Technologies

At Truffle Technologies, we aim to be transparent on our privacy and data policies. In fact, we provide all our users with the rights mentioned above. Besides these aforementioned rights, it is important that companies do all possible to keep users’ data safe from unauthorised use and access. For our users, we have implemented safeguards in our services such as data encryption, backups and secure connections. In addition, we frequently conduct testing of our systems to weed out potential vulnerabilities.

Conclusion

With globalization and continued developments in technology, more consumers will adopt digital technology and data will continue to be a significant part of our lives. While the measures discussed above are just general guidelines for companies, not all companies may adhere to these, depending on where the company is based in. It is hence worth taking the time to read through each individual data privacy policy to be aware of your rights as a user and the data risks involved in order to protect yourself.

Having said that, wouldn’t it be great if there were also global initiatives in place that actually apply to all companies collecting your data regardless of where you are based in? As most digital services these days are operating globally, it might make more sense instead of having country or region based data privacy regulations. But that’s just our two cents — we are more interested in knowing what you think. Leave us a comment about this below!

And, just in case you wish to read our Privacy Policy after reading this article, we have included the link to it below. ;)

Privacy Policy: https://truffletech.com/privacy/

Looking for more tech-related trends and news? Connect with us!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/truffletech

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/truffletech

Twitter: https://twitter.com/truffletech

This post was brought to you in conjunction with Privacy Awareness Week.

We are a Singapore-based technology company and a start-up, on our own journey to explore and harness the latest technologies. Visit us: https://truffletech.com