Join Us For Internet Privacy Week

Almost every time you visit a website or use a mobile app, someone is collecting data about you. However, across the globe there are few laws that govern how companies collect this data or what they can do with it.

Internet Privacy Week - Namecheap
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To address this issue, Namecheap is collaborating with TechDirt to bring you Internet Privacy Week (Oct. 18-24). We will be highlighting different issues concerning your online privacy.

Then on October 18th we will introduce an Internet Privacy Bill of Rights to highlight the issue of how companies collect, store, and use consumer data. We will encourage companies and individuals to sign this Internet Privacy Bill of Rights to show their support of responsible and accountable data collection procedures.

It Starts with Your Data

Your online activities get tracked by a company or organization every time you open a website or use a mobile app.

Some of this data helps you use the website by keeping track of your site preferences, login details, or shopping cart information.

However, some of the shared information benefits the company more than the user. Your personal details become valuable data that can be used for advertising and marketing purposes. For example:

  • Companies target advertising through browser cookies that track the sites you visit and purchases you make.
  • Quizzes and games on social media often require access to your contacts list.
  • Downloading a free book or participating in a webinar may require you to provide your email address and demographic information.
  • Pokemon Go and similar games collect your real-time GPS information and track every physical location you visit.

In more harmful cases, you might encounter fake websites masquerading as companies with which you do business. These fake entities’ sole purpose is to ‘phish’ for bank account information or passwords that can be sold or used for nefarious purposes.

How Your Data Gets Used

Ever wonder why, after you make a purchase on one website, you start seeing ads for that company everywhere you go? Websites share your purchase data so other sites can target you with ads. Your data might also be used by potential employers, car insurance companies, and credit card companies.

The risk to you as a consumer is that the data you freely provide to one company can be repackaged and sold to other companies. This information can be used in ways you never intended and can become public through accidental exposure and malicious hacks.

Spammers already pay top dollar for lists of current email addresses and many privacy advocates worry what might happen with the massive amounts of geo-location data some apps now collect.

Why Privacy is an Issue

edward_snowden-2
Edward Snowden

You might consider it an invasion of privacy when companies take your information without your consent or without explaining explicitly how the information will be used. It becomes an even bigger concern if companies don’t transfer and store this data securely. Security breaches can lead to fraudulent purchases or even identity theft.

Hackers aren’t the only ones gaining access to the information shared with companies. As Edward Snowden demonstrated in 2013, the US government obtained millions of records from sources such as search engine companies and cell phone providers. While some information might be necessary for national security, it’s worth considering where governments should draw the line.

Isn’t My Data Protected?

In a word, no.

To protect consumers, the White House proposed a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights in 2015, limiting what information the National Security Agency (NSA) can access, but to date Congress has passed no laws that protect Americans against general data mining and misuse of personal information.

The Internet Privacy Bill of Rights

It’s time to take a stand against violations of our privacy. We need to call for data collection standards and best practices, and take back control of our information.

With Internet Privacy Week (Oct. 18th-24th) Namecheap will raise awareness of data collection and how personal information can be used against consumers.  We will also expose the issues connected to  unscrupulous data collection as we demonstrate that there’s a more responsible way for both companies and customers to operate.

How to Take Action

We encourage users to take a stand with us, and start the process of securing your information.

To accomplish this goal, we’re asking users like you to pledge to protect privacy by signing the Internet Privacy Bill of Rights, which we will unveil on Oct. 18th. Namecheap will donate money to EFF for each signature and share of the document, up to $25,000.

Follow Namecheap.com on Twitter and Facebook and sign up for our newsletter (in the sidebar, or below this post on mobile devices) to learn more about Internet Privacy Week and how together we can all hold companies accountable for Internet privacy.

Snowden photo credit:  Laura Poitras / Praxis Films, CC BY 3.0

 


Jackie Dana is the Senior Content Manager at Namecheap.com, and an advocate of internet privacy, civil liberties, and free speech around the world.

14 thoughts on “Join Us For Internet Privacy Week”

  1. First of all, congratulation to joining the Internet Privacy Week!

    I tried to search more information about “Internet Privacy Bill of Rights” on search engines and EFF website but I got nothing, so I think that maybe this is still in draft phase. I think that would be good to open to public, to be able for us to read and comment about it.

    In the meantime, I have some suggestion about this blog to enhance user privacy. I think maybe it is good to made the name and email address fields optional for posting comments, this way people can comment anonymously. Maybe you are asking about how could you stop spams that way, what I do is removing the comment form from my website source code and then append the comment form using javascript. Because most spam bots do not process javascript, appending the comment form using javascript can avoid they to append their spam into the fields to post it, you can see my blog as a example.

    I hope you consider my suggestions.

    PS: Your newsletters sign up field is in the bottom for mobile users.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. We will be unveiling the actual Internet Privacy Bill of Rights on Oct. 18th; this post is just a teaser, and we’ll have a few more posts on privacy leading up to Internet Privacy Week itself.

      Thanks also for your feedback about privacy on the blog. While a name and email address are required to submit a comment, commenters do not need to list their real name when posting a comment, and email addresses are hidden and serve only as verification. The website field is optional. So you – or anyone else – may post anonymously if you wish to do so.

    2. I agree. And here is my comment(s); change the Bill Of Rights to read “shall” to replace each “should”. The providers of service already know they “should” however the expectation on the part of the consumer has not and will not cause the provider of service to do the right thing. This is why the Bill of Rights is necessary and was created. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Otherwise your just watering into the wind.

  2. To accomplish this goal, we’re asking users like you to pledge to protect privacy by signing the Internet Privacy Bill of Rights.

    Where to find the Internet Privacy Bill of Rights?

    1. Namecheap will be unveiling the Internet Privacy Bill of Rights on Oct. 18th. We will announce it on the blog as well as in our newsletter and on social media.

        1. Fortunately Internet Privacy Week lasts from Oct 18th-24th and you can view our online Internet Privacy Bill of Rights any time starting on Oct. 18th. So you can visit our site after you turn in your essay! (And good luck on that, by the way!)

          1. Please change the Bill Of Rights to read “shall” instead of “should”. The providers of service already know they “should” however the consumers expectation will not cause the provider of service to do the right thing. This is why the Bill of Rights is necessary and was created. Shall is mandatory – should does nothing more than what is currently in place. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Otherwise your just watering into the wind.

  3. It’s a shame places are not like namesilo. As soon as my names come up for expiration they are moving to namesilo. with the public info i get over 200 emails about need a design? your paypal has been locked scam . all kinds of scams i will be done with you guys in 2017.

    1. Im in favor of not using Facebook and Twitter. How likely is this suggestion to be followed by enough people to cause these services to alter their practice?

  4. I’ve been into namecheap for many years and I’m proud that their support to the SOPA campaign is still there. I hope they continue providing us privacy

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