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Governments should protect personal data on digital platforms

July 27, 2020

Turkey has implemented new social media regulations that will implement effective innovations and hold social media platforms liable for the level of security,  urging them upon consolidating their software.  Remember, that you should not fully trust any social media platform. Moreover, according to a digital communications professional, governments should secure resident’s information on digital platforms.

The head of the MEZO Digital consultancy firm, Nabat Garakhanova adds that providing personal security should one of the key duties of states. 

In the first half of the year, there was a case when some hacker leaked approximately 16 billion of personal data records in various sectors, such as health care and accommodation.  According to experts from Garakhanova told Anadolu Agency (AA), about 8 billion data records were seeped out in the first three months of 2020, and about 4 billion data records had the same fate in the first half of 2019 

She stated that the latest hack problem on Twitter showed the issues in the platform’s software. Besides that, she added that hackers might have got support from the inside of Twitter. According to their examination, that hacking was surely supported from the inside. Nabat Garakhanova said that social media platforms should always modernize security systems and assess their substructure. 

Over the past week, the famous Twitter accounts of previous U.S President Barack Obama, American celebrity Kim Kardashian West, business magnate Bill Gates, App were hacked by pilfering users’ money through a message that asked to engage with philanthropy by doubling some bitcoins that were sent to their address. 

Reporting on the breach, Twitter said that hackers manipulated some employees and used all their credentials to gain access to internal systems of Twitter. They succeeded in gaining access to tools that are available only to the company’s support teams that target different 130 accounts. For 45 accounts from the list, the hackers were able to implement a password reset, log in there and send messages. 

Mustafa Varank, Technology and Industry Minister of Turkey, also invoked G-20 digital economy ministers to deal with the big problem of digital security on social media platforms. The latest accident with Twitter has shown that world technology leaders can be a huge issue. 

Privacy problems

Cyber breaches have turned out to be more widespread and more severe over the last few years. Global Risk Report of the World Economic Forum showed that cyberattacks that were previously perceived as a major, now are seen as regular. It is well known that hackers are more agile, thus their attacks are becoming more advanced. Hackers are using up-to-date technology such as machine learning to initiate attacks. 

Over the last years, a lot of issues have appeared around the approaches of how companies treat the information of their users. Their data is processed for economic and political reasons without users’ knowledge or consent, as was the case in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.  International Business Machines Corporation assess that data breach of about 50 million records costs $350 million. 

According to the experts from the World Economic Forum, data fraud and cyber attacks are the most possible world risks. Eurobarometer also has come to the same conclusion. About 86% of Europeans perceive cybercrime as a very important issue. 

Over the course of the G20 Summit in 2019, global leaders put special emphasis on the need to truly trust digital technologies – among them should be intellectual property rights, consumer protection, security, and transparency. 

Governments are acting way too slowly

The European Union is holding a discussion on user privacy with its  General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which has developed a powerful legal base for protecting end-user data in the whole of Europe. 

In the United States, laws of device privacy change depending on the state, sector, and data type. Lately, California adopted a new law that regulated the security of IoT on a state level. In the meantime, technology experts are promoting federal privacy law, and perceive privacy as a basic human right. 

Manufacturers of IoT devices have to follow these new laws and provide privacy by design. Nevertheless, this change can add technological and financial issues that not many manufacturers can work on. This means users’ data can not be always protected.

User expectations

Many research shows that consumer disposition to digital security is altering while people become more enquired about cyber threats. The latest reports show that the major problems related to consumers doubt whether their personal data is safe.   

According to the research of the Economist Intelligence Unit, about 93% of users’ security and name privacy are one of the main concerns. Another research and many surveys from Eurobarometer show that about 86% of users think that they have higher chances to be attacked by hackers. 

Consumers are also started to perceive IoT devices as an important asset and also a possible intervention in their privacy. The security of the device has turned out to be more of a risk that may lead to data breaches. More and more users become more enquired about these threats. 

According to a report from the Economist, about 75% of owners of IoT devices see device privacy as quite important to them. At the end of 2018, a survey from CUJO AI has shown that about 77% of consumers are afraid of unauthorized access to their devices. In the meantime, 73% of consumers also are worrying about the security of IoT devices. 

According to the latest survey from Princeton University, as a rule, users of devices are doubting privacy risk from certain devices that do not need to record video or audio, such as thermostats and light bulbs. To ensure that everyone will pay attention to this issue in the nearest future, users are starting to dispute their expectations for the following generation of connected devices.

Social media platforms utilize their existing laws

The chairman of the International Social Media Association in Turkey, Said Ercan believes in this statement. He adds that the hacking problem seems to be fake, and it is even possible that it could be some kind of advertising trick. He does not truly believe that such a problem was fulfilled by solely hacking the account. Even if it was true, Twitter engineers somehow permitted it. As a rule, brands that want to be open on social media are defrauded much frequently. 

In Turkey, new regulations for social media will implement progress and transfer the burden of safety mainly to social media platforms, which should consolidate their software. According to new regulations, a behavior that considered a crime is still a crime when people do it on social media. Thus, this should solve the issue of human rights online. 

Also, Said Ercan added that social media platforms try hard to utilize their laws. However, how powerful and strong these networks might be, they are not a state and surely not stronger than it. In that respect, they have to follow the laws of states. 

Nowadays, social media accounts look more like IDs, there are even cases when companies look through people’s accounts before offering them a job. Some experts believe that they should implement serious adjustments related to the trading of data and perception management of our social networks. In the end, all countries should have a unified social media agreement. 

Research key vs. fraud

Nabat Garakhanova stated that users should be very attentive when they permit social media platforms and software to utilize their personal data. Mainly because many of us do not care to read allowance texts where you might permit a lot of data that people do not usually disclose. This means your information will be out in the open to others with your consent. 

Of course, new methods of fraud appear as soon as they can, however, your best protection against them is research. Those people who have many followers on social networks may lose their accounts if they decide to trust emails that promise a blue tick. Such issues cause a lot of losses. 

User’s data such as meals they eat, places they go, birthdays, identity, friends, contact information are put on social media platforms. Of course, the internet and social media are great friends, but still, there should be strict rules for fraudulent usage of these platforms. Nabat Garakhanova also added that the origin of platforms and apps is crucial. While Turkey tries to protect the personal data and private life of its people, there are still countries in the Far East that can use user’s data without their consent.

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