Today is Data Privacy Day and it is an opportunity to remind everybody that while we enjoy the ever-changing and evolving technologies available to us, from Facebook to medical record sharing, we should always know that our data and our information belongs to us. Any searching or sharing of our information needs our permission.
A year ago, Wisconsin Senator Erpenbach took the lead on authoring a resolution recognizing Data Privacy Day (PDF) in Wisconsin. We now have an official statement about what data privacy means to our state government. In this statement, and in the continued educational work of the ACLU of Wisconsin, privacy rights are more than protection against credit card fraud and identity theft: it is a practice of safety, protection and practices for everybody.
"Privacy rights need to be defended year-round," said ACLU of Wisconsin Executive Director Chris Ahmuty. "Today is a great day to recognize how we can protect ourselves against identity theft, encroaching surveillance and data insecurity."
Nationally the ACLU has been in the center of courtrooms, legislative hearings and the media to show what is wrong with public video surveillance, why the Real ID program doesn't secure our identities and should be overturned, and how government surveillance technology is outpacing legal restraints to abuses of power.
Read more about the work that the ACLU is doing nationally to support privacy rights. Aspects of privacy rights that we work on include biological technology privacy (our DNA is our own), consumer privacy (don't spy on what I buy), Internet free speech and privacy (make those Facebook photos private!), medical privacy (sharing electronic records is great for doctors, but shouldn't be searched by non-medics), students rights (with cell phones and their non-directory information), and workers' privacy (from camera surveillance to lack of protection of personal records).