Everywhere we go on the web it seems that many sites, especially social networks, want you to share everything about yourself with them. The problem is that all that personal data we are sharing is not always being used the way you might think, which makes being able to control how our data is collected all the more important.
We love free stuff, and it has become an accepted fact on the web that in order to get all those free goodies and use services like Facebook we have to cough up all kinds of personal data. Some of it we do knowingly; like liking and posting updates to Facebook, and others not so knowingly.
(It's just as bad as trying to make your way through the TSA. Image: blogspot)
With that in mind, it is important to note that on January 28th we will be celebrating Data Privacy Day, this being the day where we try and gain some real understanding of just how much of our personal data is being used, and misused, on the web. One of the participants of Data Privacy Day is Microsoft and they want you to know that our online privacy is very important to them, more so than some other companies out there.
Microsoft has recently commissioned a survey by Ipsos Public Affairs that surveyed over 1,000 people about this subject. In advance of Data Privacy Day, the company has released the results which included the following:
- Forty-five percent of those surveyed felt that they have little or no control over those companies collecting their information while they browse the web or use online services.
- Four in ten believe that they mostly understand how to protect their data and online privacy.
- Thirty-nine percent turn to their friends and family as their best source for privacy information.
- Thirty-two percent say they pay attention to companies' privacy reputations, track record, and policies; which affects their decision to visit sites or use their services.
To show their commitment to online privacy, Microsoft launched a new website; Privacy In Action, with information about how Microsoft handles privacy in IE10, Bing, Windows Phone 8 and Xbox. In addition the company launched the Personal Data Dashboard site which is where users have a central location to manage how their personal information is being used online.
All in all, it would seem that Microsoft is making a real attempt at letting users have some say in how their personal information is being used by the company.