Data Privacy and Government: Balancing Security and Freedom

In this digital era, data is coming from various sources and continues to grow in volume. Since this data is taken from a person, then data privacy becomes a concern that everyone has. That is why, data privacy protection is needed to keep everything save and secure.

Data Privacy and Government

Data Privacy Concern and Government 

We all know that data collection by government from their citizens is something that they are entitled to do. That is why, privacy become the focus used in various regulations that the government use. Furthermore, with the new technologies and the use of personal data by various companies comes cybercrimes that threatened the data privacy. 

Not to mention the concern about policies in technology related to the rival powers. That is why, government has put data privacy as the national concern. As of 2022, data privacy has become top priority for all government to make sure that this issue is addressed as soon as possible.

Actually, data privacy is not a new problem but it has become more complicated as technology advanced which make data sources multiple in large number. Furthermore, more often organization also do not have enough resource that can be used to protect data privacy on their management, planning, operation and business. This makes it hard for companies to maintain compliance with the privacy regulation and laws which continue to evolved as the technology also evolved. 

Misuse of data by malicious personnel, inadvertent data disclosure, and data breach will result in very significant cost financially and legally. Furthermore, it also damages the trust that people give to the government. 

To address this issue local government continues to find a way for them to make educational resources, tools and process that can be used to tackle the challenge. Especially since the government want to maintain public trust as with the privacy concern it can be lost within seconds. 

Government Role in Data Privacy

The data collection by government is a practice that had been done for years and now we are in an era where those data can be used to deliver better government service. But it is also important to know that it can be detriment if the data goes to the wrong hand. 

Thus, from now own, data privacy has become part of government surveillance concern and everything else that government do. That is why, government need to take more steps in protecting data privacy and security while using the data as strategic assets. Here are some of the government roles in data privacy and security that is very important to do:

  • Rule maker
    As the rule maker of the country, government should be able to establish clear rules that can help data managers to apply ethical use of data on their government surveillance practices. 
    Creating a legal framework that understood and widely accepted will help to ensure all employees to operate in within the system to maintain consistency. Furthermore, violation to comply with the regulation can then be acknowledged publicly so organizations and governments can be hold accountable for their actions. 
  • Give individual rights
    Government should be able to safeguard the individual rights including their rights to request their own data which held by organizations to promote accountability. That is why a lot of governments has created privacy act that give rights to individual to request access all information that the organization had collect about them. 
    This will allow individual with privacy concern to challenge the organization on the application of the data privacy rules. Furthermore, this can also help to encourage the organization in improving their practices on data minimization so they can decide to not collect certain data. 
  • Ensuring ethical practice
    It is important for government surveillance to be able to set the expectation for organization on limiting data usage as an ethical practice that everyone should do. This will make the data collectors know that they are only allowed to use the data for specific reason when collecting personal data.
    The purpose of the personal data collection should also be articulated when the collection is done. Government should teach organization that explaining everything more clearly will give benefits to both the individual and the organization so they can get public trust. 
  • Enforce data protection
    It is important for government to make sure that the organization have approach that they use for data protection which can also help them in sustaining the public trust. This include the practice to remove identifiable information on the data, applying limited access of sensitive data which can only be done from secure place as well as applying new data protection technology.
    Government can do this by having enforcement mechanics with strong penalties when violation happened. That way, data managers and the users themselves will have obligation in making sure that inadvertent and intentional violation can be avoided.

Read More What Is GDPR: A Comprehensive Guide To Data Protection

Things That You Can DO To Protect Your Data Privacy

Strengthen your privacy settings

These days one person can have multiple accounts online in different platforms. This might makes you becomes lazy to review all of the privacy settings and just leave it on default.

But this is something that you should not do since companies and government can collect the data from your accounts and use it on their business to make money from it. That is why, they will use defaults settings that will allow them to collect your data and protect it less. 

So, it is important for you to understand what data that you can share and what data that you need to protect. Here are some of the privacy settings that you need to review to strengthen your privacy:

  • Public information
    You need to carefully think on the information that can be made public, information that should be keep securely hidden as well as information that can lies in-between those things. So, you need to review your privacy setting to make sure that everything matches with what you want. 
  • Location tracking
    You need to turn off the automatic geolocation setting that used to collect your location data on your social media each time you create comments, photos and posts. 
  • Like, comments and shares
    You might think about limiting things that you share online. But usually, the comments and likes that you put on other people post usually can be viewed publicly. 
    This includes, your names, comments, and profiles pictures that can be seen on other people post. It can also show up on search result even though your account is private.
    That is why, you need to be careful every time you leave comments, like and also share something on a public post.

Clean your application and extensions

It is important to pay attention to every application that you have in your device. You will have less data privacy risk if you have less accounts. So, you need to think further when signing up for new account even if it is an account related to the government. 

When you want to download an application, it is important to only download it from sources that you can trust such as the official website or the app stores. 

If you have any application or browser extensions that you do not use for a long time or you do not use them regularly then it is better to uninstall them. Even if you do not use them some application will stay active and might come with hidden features which can track your activities. 

Remove search engines tracking feature

The search engine that you use actually collect a lot of personal data from you everything you use it. Furthermore, large search engines usually also have their own browsers which quite popular which they also use to collect your data. This means that there are actually a lot of more data that they take from you than you can imagine of.

That is why, it is important to improve your data privacy by deleting the data that they collect from you. You can go to your account activity dashboard then delete everything there. You need to do this for all of your account including yahoo, bing, Microsoft edge, and even google. 

Secure your connection

When you connect to the internet using any browser they will connect your data from the activities that you do online. That is why you need to secure your connection to improve your data privacy. Here are the things that you can use:

  • Start by singing out from the browser so they could not identify you account. 
  • Then you can also add a few extensions to the browser that can help to strengthen your privacy. Extension such as HTTPS Everywhere will help to encrypt your connection when you visit supported sites. That way, it can help to hide your private data that you send over the network. 
  • You should also use extension such as tracking blockers and ad blockers that can help to prevent the websites from tracking your movement.
  • If you want to go all out and be most secure then consider using VPN which can help to encode everything you send over the internet so it cannot be read by hackers. Using VPN is very important especially when you use public connection such as Wi-Fi on the airport or coffee shops. 


Government surveillance is something that you must be concern about especially since data collection by government is something that they are entitled to do. However, you should also know how to protect your data privacy to secure the data yourself.

Tags: government surveillance, data collection by government, data privacy, protect data privacy, 

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