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Risks of excessive data collection

The digital age brought with it a real explosion in the collection of personal data. From online transactions to interactions on social networks, our information is continuously recorded and stored.

While this seems harmless or even beneficial, excessive data collection presents a number of risks and concerns. From misuse of our personal information to exposure to cyber threats, we must understand the dangers involved in this scenario.

Some of the risks

Here are some of the main risks associated with this practice:

  1. Misuse of data: When a large amount of data is gathered, there is an increased possibility that this information will be misused, whether for questionable business purposes, discrimination, manipulation or other abuses.

  2. Information overload: Collecting massive amounts of data doesn't always lead to better insights or informed decisions. Rather, it creates an information overload that makes it difficult to analyze and effectively utilize that data.

  3. Data Leaks: The more data that is collected and logged, the greater the chance of leaks or security breaches occurring. These leaks result in the loss of personal things such as identification numbers, financial data and even health information, with consequences for individuals. In the context of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), it can result in serious legal, financial and reputational consequences for companies.

  4. Profiling and Discrimination: Excessive data collection can lead to profiling practices, where detailed profiles of individuals are created based on their personal information. This can result in unfair discrimination, such as denial of employment, access to services or opportunities based on discriminatory criteria.

  5. Data dependency: Excessive data collection can lead to overreliance on data analytics, which leads to a lack of human intuition, inadequate automated decision-making, and reduced individual accountability.

In order to mitigate these risks, it is important to follow behaviors regarding data privacy and security, ensure that individuals obtain informed consent and adopt responsible approaches to the collection, storage and use of data.

How to protect yourself

As it is a concern in the digital age, excessive data collection leads to possible abuse by the organizations that hold this information and also to privacy violations. Below are the criteria that must be met for protection:

  • Be aware of your privacy: Be aware of the dangers and consequences. Stay informed about privacy laws in your country and company policies regarding data collection and use.

  • Limit personal information: Be judicious when providing any kind of information about yourself and make sure it is really necessary to share it. The less information given, the lower the risk of over-collection.

  • Control your privacy settings: Check privacy settings on regularly used online services, social networks and apps. Please adjust these settings according to your preferences to restrict the collection of personal data, specially cookies settings.

  • Be selective with whom you trust your data: Be very sure with whom information about yourself will be shared. Before this action, study the company's reputation and forms of security.

  • Use privacy protection tools: Consider using tools and browser extensions that will strengthen privacy in the digital environment. Includes tracking blockers or VPNs (Virtual Private Networks).

  • Read privacy policies: Before personal data is disclosed, reading the privacy policies of companies should be mandatory. Know how information will be collected, stored and used. If the policies are not concise or if you are not comfortable with them, consider not using the company's services.

  • Be demanding with data consents: Depending on the use of online services, pay attention to the consents offered for collection. Check that you are only consenting to the collection and use of data necessary for the service to function.

Although it is not possible to completely eliminate all the risks of data collection, by acquiring such methods mentioned above, it will reduce exposure and online privacy will be preserved.

In summary, the constant increase in data collection has generated a growing concern about the risks involved. It is undeniable that there is a greater awareness of the importance of privacy and security of personal data, promoting a culture of protection and transparency in practices for collecting and storing information.

Do you trust websites that ask for your data? Tell us here in the comments!


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