The term “data protection” originated in the second half of the 20th century, but it is defined differently. Some interpretations understand data protection in particular as protection against unauthorized data processing, other definitions emphasize the protection of privacy. Many people understand data protection as a fundamental right, according to which each person can decide for themselves what to do with their data. In the course of digitization, data protection is particularly important online.
- Short for DP by abbreviationfinder, data protection ensures that users’ privacy is not influenced by the improper collection, disclosure or storage of information.
- With the General Data Protection Regulation, the European Union has created a uniform set of rules for the processing of personal data.
- If an operator violates data protection regulations, he must expect severe fines.
Privacy on the Internet: Laws
The media keep reporting on data scandals on the Internet. In addition, more and more people are aware of the data hunger of large technology companies like Facebook or Google. Every user can take various measures to help protect their data. In addition, both telecommunications providers and website operators are obliged to follow certain legal requirements. When it comes to data protection on the Internet, the following laws and regulations apply:
- Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG)
- Telemedia Act (TMG)
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation
With the General Data Protection Regulation, which has been binding since May 25, 2018, the European Union introduced a standardized set of rules for the processing of personal data by private companies and authorities. The regulation aims on the one hand to protect the privacy of every EU citizen and on the other to ensure the free movement of data.
The General Data Protection Regulation represents an extension of the existing laws rather than completely overturning them. With the implementation of the ordinance in national legislation, the state expanded above all the rights of users and the information obligations of web portals and companies. For example, there is still a ban on collecting information without the consent of the user. There are also no changes regarding the required earmarking of the data. Among other things, this results in the following obligations for companies and website operators:
- Websites require the consent of their users in order to be able to record and process their data in the first place .
- User need in a privacy statement about information are the data raises the site and stores.
- If stored data prove to be incorrect, they must be corrected or deleted at the request of the person concerned .
Substantial sanctions for data protection violations
If a company does not meet its data protection obligations, it faces severe penalties . The amount of the fines depends on the case, but can be up to 20 million euros or four percent of global annual sales. There is also the option of freezing profits. However, in the past there were large discrepancies between the existing laws and their implementation or control in practice.
How to protect your data on the Internet
Anyone who is active on the Internet inevitably leaves their mark there. Data is generated both when using a search engine and in social networks or when visiting a website. Therefore, you should always proceed carefully, especially when disclosing personal information. However, if you take the following tips to heart, you will increase the security of your data online.
Optimize browser settings
Responsible use of social networks
Many users use social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter every day. In doing so, they voluntarily reveal a large amount of data. Every user should be aware that social networks store and potentially analyze all published content. The principle of data minimization therefore applies : the less you post, the less information third parties can use for their purposes. If you only log in sporadically and do not stay logged in all day, you can also avoid creating a large number of data records.
Be careful when creating passwords
Choosing a suitable password also helps increase data security. It is important that the password does not only contain upper and lower case letters, but also numbers and special characters. In addition, you should never use the same password for multiple accounts. Regularly changing the password also increases security. Password managers can help manage the wide variety of login credentials.