Undoubtedly, data is the new oxygen of the world we live in. The world is gradually moving to a stage where he who has the data, dictates the tune. The reason for this is none other than our utmost reliance on technologies in the mining, dealing in, and processing of our data.
Thus, it becomes fundamentally important, because of the probable and known propensity of data holders to misuse data, that data owners be vested with a number of protective rights. These rights help in tightening the leash on the growing menace of data misuse and irrational profiteering like the Facebook Analytica scandal.
Notably, the United States does not have a comprehensive data or information privacy legal framework like Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of 2018. What the United States operates on are limited sectoral laws that provide for privacy regulations in certain sectors and industries or states.
A combined reading of the sectoral laws showcases the following legal rights of private individuals to data privacy:
- Right to non-disclosure of collected data to other corporate entities or individuals, unless there’s a specific statutory authorization or consent by individuals.
- Right to review or rectification of outdated data.
- Right to erasure – i.e. deletion of data once its purpose has been met. This is the same thing as the right to be forgotten.
- Right to non-transmission of data to locations where its protection and security cannot be assured.
- Right to non-collection of sensitive data – unless extreme circumstances dictate it. Such sensitive data categories include sexual orientation, religion, and many more.
- Right of access to copies of their data.
- Right to request transmission of data from a provider to another provider. For example, health records.
- Right of complaint to relevant data protection authorities.
- Right to withdraw consent of data accumulation, processing, or storage.
Now that you are aware of your legal rights to privacy, it is hoped that you would try as much to exercise them and not sign them off away. Perhaps, if you find your data provider wanting in the implementation of these legal rights, we are just a call away to help in remedying the situation for you.