Feminist reflection on internet policies

Changing the way you see ICT

data protection

data protectionsearch for term

Data protection is used to mean different things in different contexts. Some definitions restrict data protection to information stored electronically, regardless of whether it refers to a person. Other, such as the United Kingdom's Data Protection Act defines protection as the rights to control data on identifiable living persons. It allows people to at least be aware of the information that is stored on them by the State and, to a lesser extent, by private bodies.

The APC Internet Rights Charter further specify that both public or private organisations that require personal information from individuals must collect only the minimal data necessary and for the minimal period of time needed. Collection, use, disclosure and retention of personal data must comply with a transparent privacy policy which allows people to find out what is collected about them and to correct inaccurate information.

If data is not protected, as in much of the developing world, private data can be sold by corporations (such as telephone companies) to other corporations, or even individuals. In Democratic Republic of Congo, men bribe telecom service employees to gain access to wives or girlfriends call list. Women's images are also distributed on the internet without their consent for the purpose of sexual exploitation. In Delhi, India, almost half of all cybercrime cases reported were filed by women who discover their faces morphed onto pornographic images and posted online, accompanied by a personal phone number and an invitation for strangers to call Data protection standards are also critical for emergency services such as anonymous, free of charge telephone help-lines for survivors of violence.

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www.apc.org/en/node/5677/ (APC Internet Rights Charter)
www.genderit.org/articles/democratic-republic-congo-two-sides-same-ict-coin-breaking-silence-breaking-laws (DRC case)
www.genderit.org/en/index.shtml?w=a&x=96161 (India case)