Thursday July 18, 2019
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Would You Give Up Digital Life if Given Lifetime Data Protection?

Many prefer not to have certain facts about themselves revealed in public

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Digital, Life, Data
Several years ago, people shared their private information with social media services in exchange for various benefits, without even thinking about the potential threats. Pixabay

Would you give up your digital life if all your personal information – passwords, posts, pictures, videos, jokes, memes, GIFs etc – remain private for the rest of your life or given back to you, with no duplicate data saved in the Dark Web?

For four in 10 people (38 per cent), this is a steal deal as consumers’ personal information is becoming incredibly valuable to them, says a latest report from global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky.

Social media services like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter have become a significant part of our lives and according to Kaspersky’s report, 82 per cent of people now use them globally.

Several years ago, people shared their private information with social media services in exchange for various benefits, without even thinking about the potential threats and their consequences.

Digital, Life, Data
For four in 10 people (38 per cent), this is a steal deal as consumers’ personal information is becoming incredibly valuable. Pixabay

“With a rising number of data leaks around the world, we are seeing a new trend among consumers. Many prefer not to have certain facts about themselves revealed in public and are paying more attention to the information they share with online services,” says Marina Titova, Head of Consumer Product Marketing at Kaspersky.

However, the majority still don’t know how to protect their digital privacy and would give up social media to guarantee their information remains secure.

The truth is: Your data is up for grabs everywhere – be it tech companies, advertisers or marketers.

After facing flak for using unethical and discreet ways of collecting user-information, Facebook has now decided to pay Android users in India and the US just to monitor how they use their phones.

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The social networking giant has launched a new app called Study which is available for download on Google’s Play Store for Android users aged 18 and above.

The app would not only monitor installed apps on a person’s phone but also observe the amount of time spent on those apps along with details like the users’ location and additional app data which could reveal other specific features being used.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that Facebook was secretly paying users aged 13 to 35 up to $20 per month, plus referral fees, to install a “Facebook Research” Virtual Private Network (VPN) that was letting the company access user’s data.

According to Kaspersky’s report titled, “The true value of digital privacy: are consumers selling themselves short?”, fears surrounding protecting digital privacy have made consumers more anxious about the use and distribution of their personal information on the Internet.

Digital, Life, Data
Social media services like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter have become a significant part of our lives. Pixabay

However, despite these various benefits, some would still opt out of social media if it helped to restore their digital privacy forever.

One in 10 (12 per cent) people who give away their personal information to register for fun quizzes, such as what celebrity they look like or what their favourite meal is, would not be able to do so anymore.

It may be even more problematic, though, for 58 per cent people who would no longer be able to use their social login details to quickly and conveniently authorize themselves on different websites or services.

Perhaps even more surprisingly, at a time when the number of mobile phone users is rising 2 per cent year-on-year, one-in-five (19 per cent) would be ready to wave goodbye to their handsets altogether to guarantee their data remains private for the rest of their life.

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Unfortunately, even sacrificing your entire social media presence wouldn’t be sufficient to protect digital privacy an it’s a process, not a one-time deal that can be bargained for.

“Keeping personal information safe – by regularly updating social media account passwords and using security solutions – will give consumers more confidence in the security of their data online,” said Titova. (IANS)

Next Story

Efforts to Build Resilience as an Approach to Improving Quality of Life in Cities

Paris, meanwhile, is redesigning and opening green schoolyards as cooler places for locals to escape extreme heat

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Resilience, Life, Cities
FILE - People cool off in the fountains of the Trocadero gardens, in front of the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, June 28, 2019. VOA

In the Dutch port city of Rotterdam, nine “water plazas” have been created that soak up excess rainfall while offering people a green space to meet and children to play.

The city is also planting gardens and putting solar panels on a growing area of its nearly 20 square kilometers (8 square miles) of flat roofs.

Paris, meanwhile, is redesigning and opening green schoolyards as cooler places for locals to escape extreme heat, while in New Zealand, Wellington is rolling out neighborhood water supplies to keep the taps on when an earthquake hits.

More than 70 cities that are part of the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) network, set up in 2013, have crafted “resilience strategies” that include about 3,500 activities designed to combat shocks and stresses – everything from floods to an influx of refugees.

Resilience, Life, Cities
In the Dutch port city of Rotterdam, nine “water plazas” have been created that soak up excess rainfall while offering people a green space to meet and children to play. Pixabay

The United Nations estimates that by 2050 nearly 70% of the world’s population will live in cities, which are increasingly impacted by extreme weather and sea level rise, while producing about 75% of planet-warming emissions.

Michael Berkowitz, president of 100 Resilient Cities, told a gathering of the network’s cities in Rotterdam on Tuesday that efforts to build resilience had now become established as an approach to improving quality of life in cities.

Those efforts to keep people safe and well in the face of rising climate, economic and social pressures will continue, despite the closure this month of the organization that helped them craft those plans, officials said.

At the end of July, 100RC will shut its offices after the New York-based Rockefeller Foundationsaid in April it would no longer fund the body, having given about $176 million for its work.

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That funding helped pay initial salaries for chief resilience officers in member cities, for example, though about 80% of the cities now have made the role a part of their staff, 100RC officials said.

The Rockefeller Foundation said on Monday it would provide an additional $8 million over 18 months to help 100RC cities and their chief resilience officers transition to a network they will lead themselves.

“Ultimately, we aim to ensure continued collaboration and sharing among cities to address some of their most pressing challenges,” Rockefeller Foundation President Rajiv Shah said in a statement.

Expansion Ahead?

Resilience, Life, Cities
The city is also planting gardens and putting solar panels on a growing area of its nearly 20 square kilometers (8 square miles) of flat roofs. VOA

Krishna Mohan Ramachandran, chief resilience officer for the Indian city of Chennai, which has just launched its resilience strategy, said he was relieved it would be able to carry on with planned projects.

Those include conserving scarce water, putting vegetable gardens in schools, and finding less risky but nearby locations for flood-threatened communities, among others.

Rotterdam chief resilience officer Arnoud Molenaar, who led colleagues in lobbying for extra funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, said resilience work had garnered more support and created more value in cities than was often appreciated.

The Rockefeller bridge grant meant the network would now have time to raise more money from donors and others to stand on its own, and expand partnerships with politicians, communities and businesses, Molenaar said.

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Elizabeth Yee, who moved from 100RC to The Rockefeller Foundation to manage its climate and resilience work, said there was a “huge” amount of money looking for resilient urban infrastructure projects, but cities often struggled to meet investor requirements.

She said a key to finding funding was to design a bus rapid transit system or a clean power plant, for example, to also create local jobs and make communities more economically secure.

“I am hopeful that we can keep helping cities develop those projects and getting them ready for bigger, broader investment,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on the sidelines of the conference in Rotterdam.

Cities in the 100RC network have so far raised $25 billion from their own budgets, businesses and other sources to put their resilience plans into practice, 100RC’s Berkowitz said.

In a decade’s time, he said, he hoped urban resilience – with its holistic approach to multiple, modern-day stresses – would have become “an absolutely essential part of city government.”

For now, as cities rapidly expand and climate threats grow, much more such work will be needed, he said.

“Even 100 cities is a ridiculously small number of cities, compared to the world’s 10,000 cities,” he said. “We need more effort if we’re going to really win the battle of the 21st century, which is going to be fought in cities.” (VOA)