YOUR PUBLIC PERSONAL DETAILS
Have you ever received a call from someone trying to sell you a product you would never in millions years use? Have you ever wondered as to how come the person on the other side have you details? Keep on reading if these questions evoke some kind of emotion in you.
The simple answer to these questions is; information about your income and contact details is worth a lot to marketers. Clearly it makes sense to marketers to get this information to use to market a product to you, a product they think you can afford even if you may not need! These marketers are competing for your hard-earned cash, so the more the information they have about you the better or more custom-made their marketing strategy.
This is all good and I personally can understand that, BUT how they acquire that personal information is what irritates me more than unwelcome calls. Somebody, somewhere, you innocently gave your details to, sold them to these marketers for a profit! You probably did not agree to this, at least not knowingly, however, sometimes you had agreed by signing some application forms or agreement without reading the fine prints.
So, to help solve this problems and complaints emanating from this practice, we have the so called POPI act in South Africa that was signed into law by president Jacob Zuma in November 2013. This act aims to promote transparency with regard to what information is collected and how it is to be processed. Once the Act comes into effect – a date is yet to be announced – non-compliance will carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, or a R10m.
Clearly some organization’s information security systems may be breached and culprits take massive amount of information and personal details to sell to third party for lots of money! Cyber crime losses in SA are estimated at R5.8 billion for 2014, and it takes on average 200 days for an organisation to identify a breach. Globally the figure for 2014 is $388 billion in financial losses from cyber crime.
So, how much of your personal information is in the public domain? How many time have you personal information being sold from one person to the next? How often do you think you would still receive calls from irritating marketers who bought your information without your prior consent?
The fact remains; your personal information is worth lots of money to someone out there. They most likely have been using it without your prior consent and would continue doing so for some time to come! Be careful when you disclose your personal information! This could mean protecting yourself from identity theft and not only from irritating telemarketers. Take back your right to privacy!
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