privacy by default

"Privacy by default" is a fundamental principle associated with data protection and privacy in the digital age. This principle dictates that products and services should be crafted in a manner that safeguards an individual's privacy from the very beginning, without necessitating any extra steps to shield their personal data.

In simpler terms, when a product or service adheres to this principle, it automatically implements suitable technical and organizational measures to protect user data, without demanding customers to manually configure settings or permissions for data processing.

This approach is intended to minimize to the maximum extent:

  1. Possible breaches during the data acquisition and processing processes.
  2. Unauthorized access and risks that could arise if personal data falls into the hands of third parties.

To explain more precisely what "privacy by default" means, let's consider an example of a social media platform that adheres to this principle.

Janis Datins has decided to create a social media platform called "Datina Fitness." To avoid violating the privacy rights of users on this social media platform and to ensure data processing complies with data regulations, Janis, in collaboration with his data protection specialist, has chosen to develop this platform based on the guiding principle of "privacy by default".

Here's what aspects Janis was paying attention to!

Minimum data collection. When users sign up, the platform collects only essential information required to create an account, such as a subscription number and password. Janis does not insist on users providing excessive personal information, like an email address, to verify that they are not a "robot." Instead, he has integrated technical solutions within the registration process to prevent service denial attacks. Simultaneously, in the platform settings, Janis has ensured that users are free to choose which additional information they'd like to provide later, such as their first name, last name, and city of residence. In other words, users are only required to provide the necessary personal data for the sign-up process.

Default settings. By default, all user profiles and records are set to private. Only contacts approved by the user can access their posts and personal information that they choose to share. Users must take additional steps themselves (in the settings) to make their profile public.

Limited data storage. The social platform automatically anonymizes or deletes user data if the account remains inactive for a specified period. If a user decides to delete their account, their data is immediately removed from the system. Data is stored for a longer duration only if the user has expressly consented to it.

Transparency. Users are provided with clear and understandable information about how their personal data is collected, used, processed, and stored. Users are also informed about any third parties with whom their data might be shared, such as service providers.

User control. Users have the ability to manage their privacy settings, allowing them to determine what information is shared with other users. They can also choose whether to allow their profile to appear in search engine results, giving them full control over their personal data through privacy settings.

Security measures. Janis has instructed developers to create and implement robust security measures, including encryption for user data and regular security audits, to protect user information from data breaches and unauthorized access.