The tech world this year has been filled with buzz-worthy topics such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain technology, and much more. But there’s been another giant topic that shouldn’t be forgotten about – privacy. After several hacks in the past few years that have led to millions of people’s personal information being leaked, an enormous spotlight has been directed at big tech in general when it comes to keeping personal data safe and secure. As a result, consumers have become increasingly concerned with what data is being collected on them, and what was being done with the data that they’ve been handing over to large tech companies such as Google and Facebook. When it comes to personal data, what does the future hold? Let’s find out.

#1. GDPR:

Although it was in the works before the public outcry over personal data, theGDPR(General Data Protection Regulation) was passed by the European Union, transforming the way in which companies interact with their customers and users, and how the collection of personal data is treated. It outlines consumers’ rights in relation to companies handling their personal information in the European Economic Area (EEA). It allows consumers to request and receive a copy of all information held on them by companies, in addition to more control on what may remain in the company’s possession. As a result, consumers have been given more control over their personal information, allowing them to access, correct or adjust, and even delete information.

#2. Data Protection Software:

Of course, data protection isn’t all just about the information that companies hold on individuals. Chances are, you hold a lot of personal data on yourself too, whether it’s on your smartphone, laptop or another device. The personal information stored on your device could potentially do a lot of damage in the wrong hands, therefore, it’s more important than ever before that steps are taken to protect it. Thankfully, modern devices such as Apple iPhones are kitted out with software, such as ‘Find My iPhone’ that you can use to password protect or remotely wipe all data from a stolen device. And, you can remote lock your computer, track it, leave a message for a potential thief or even take screenshots and photos of the culprit using apps such as Hidden. When it comes to keeping your personal data protected, it’s certainly worth investing in software like this.

#3. What Can You Do?

You might be wondering if there’s anything extra that you can do moving forward in order to better protect your personal data. First of all, it’s a good idea to be aware of your new rights under the GDPR; if there are any companies that hold data on you, you are now well within your rights to request that they delete or make changes to that data. Companies are now required by law to provide you with a copy of all data held on you – even if it’s a lot of data, such as that held by social networking sites, map applications, and search engines. In addition, it’s worth spending some time to read terms and conditions before signing up for accounts, so that you have a clearer idea of what you’re getting into. For example, the 2018 Facebook privacy breach went even more viral due to the fact that many users had no idea just how much data Facebook held on them. Finally, make sure that any personal data you hold on your own devices is well-protected with strong passwords and remote access apps.

What do you think is important for the future of personal data privacy? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.