What does data privacy mean to you?

For Data Privacy Day 2019, we wanted to do something a little bit different.

Regular readers will know that we write about things like the GDPR and email security fairly often, as part of our efforts to keep our reseller partners up to date about the state of data privacy and security in the domain name industry.

Today, instead of sharing just one person’s perspective, we’ve opened the floor up to everyone within Tucows. Here’s what some of our colleagues said when asked why data privacy is important to them:

“Privacy allows people to be themselves without fear of being judged. That may require anonymity, pseudonymity or sharing significant personal data. What is important is user control.”
– Elliot Noss, CEO

“Privacy on the internet has always been important to me. I started using computers pre-Facebook, when you’d be stupid to use your real name online, and anonymous speech remains an important value to me. Marginalized groups do not always have the luxury of speaking their truths without it. Of course, anonymity can also be taken advantage of by bad actors; there must be a balance and it’s one I struggle with daily. I’m proud that Tucows understands that.”
– Reg, Director of Compliance

 

“In a world where our personal data has never been more sought after by fraudulent people, I am proud to work for a company that layers its security and protection of its users’ personal data like it would want its own data covered.”
– Kristy, Customer Support

“I believe that protecting people’s privacy is a responsibility that everyone must share, and that people need to be respectful of personal boundaries online the same way we would do so in person. I really do respect the industry leadership that Tucows has taken to respect the privacy of its users, and to make digital privacy a fundamental part of the company’s corporate culture. The most notable example of this, in my opinion, was the forward-thinking decision to use the implementation of the European Union’s GDPR as an opportunity to incorporate the privacy-conscious practices outlined in that legislation throughout the company, rather than only applying them within the scope of the company’s European operations.”
– Jon, Service Desk Analyst

 

“Privacy protects our reputations from harm. People judge harshly and unfairly, so the more control we as individuals have over what is shared, the more protected we are from being unfairly harmed. Privacy is power, and Tucows gives more power to the people.”
– Sara, Compliance Officer

 

“In today’s application-driven world, consumers are distracted by the ‘cool’ functionality and ‘overwhelming’ efficiency constantly being marketed to them. You need this app, that product, this Social Media. For right or wrong these very same consumers assume their ‘sign-up’ or ‘registration information’ is protected and used only to ‘process’ the transaction or service. Wouldn’t it be nice to know, up front and in plain language, what you’re actually getting into?”
– Sharlene, VP Domain Sales

 

“I feel as if the need for information should be balanced with the right to discretion. There is way more to good privacy practices than dodging litigations, complaints, or grievances. Whether privacy is safeguarded by law or contract, it is best to promote companies and employers that respect privacy because it provides assurance and supportive trust.”
– Sumaya, Return Merchandise Agent

“I view privacy as the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves, or information about themselves, and thereby express themselves selectively. The right not to be subjected to unsanctioned invasions of privacy by the government, corporations or individuals should not only be a right but a standard.”
– Brandon, Senior Product Manager

 

“In this new digital age that continues to grow and evolve, I find privacy to be very important to me. Information is a powerful tool that can be abused in the wrong hands, so I do my best to keep it safe. You have to trust who you give your personal information to to take care of it as well as you would, which I do here with Tucows.”
– Bryce, Ting Social Media Response Team Member

 

“Privacy means freedom, control, and choice. The ability to choose what to share and what to keep private is a fundamental part of being a free person, and that’s very important to me. I love working in a role where I help protect people’s privacy, making sure that all Tucows users have the same control that I value so much, at least for the services that we provide.”
– Sarah, Domains Product Team

 

“In the age of Big Brother Smartphones, targeted advertising, and scandals like Cambridge Analytica, I feel it’s important to retain as much privacy and control over my data as possible. Because the potential for disaster if there’s a leak or abuse is enormous and wide-reaching — things like identity theft and cyber-terrorism come up often when people discuss their concerns over e-privacy and data handling”.
– Seann, Customer Support Advisor

 

“Privacy to me means total anonymity. It means I came without a trace and left without a trace. Transparency is key, and Tucows does an amazing job in that regard, collecting data only when necessary and never selling data to other companies for profit.”
– John, Customer Support Advisor

“To me, privacy is something we shouldn’t need to be concerned about. There’s so much that can go on in day-to-day life, the last thing you want to worry about is whether or not your information is safe. That’s why I’m proud to work where privacy is a top priority!”
– Chantal, Customer Support Advisor

“All humans have two sides, public and private. But with social media and other online platforms, the two are blurring into one. Tucows believes in respecting and honoring both public and private selves.”
– Diandra, Ting Customer Support Advisor

“I see privacy and respect for the individual as fundamental to creating free and trusting communities. We all know corporations wield a lot of power, but it’s easy to forget how important our choice of whom to buy from and whom to work for really is. The fact that I so value privacy and transparency is part of the reason I work for Tucows and buy my domains through Hover.”
– Haley, Wholesale Domains Marketing

What can you do to promote data privacy?

If you’ve found these perspectives on the importance of privacy compelling, here are just a few ideas to get you started on your own data privacy journey.  

  • Make sure your clients understand why you collect and how you use their data, and protect their data by implementing technical and organizational security measures
  • Join a privacy-focused organization like the EFF and read up about Data Privacy Day at StaySafeOnline.org

Happy Data Privacy Day, from everyone here at Tucows!