How safe is our online data really?

04 maart 2019


The digital economy has taken the place of paperwork. That much is clear. Paperwork that was stored for years and years in overflowing folders and huge storage cabinets has forever been replaced by computer folders. But the digital economy comes with its own downsides. Perhaps the biggest negative: privacy. We send, receive, and store sensitive private information online.

The digital economy has taken the place of paperwork. That much is clear. Paperwork that was stored for years and years in overflowing folders and huge storage cabinets has forever been replaced by computer folders. But the digital economy comes with its own downsides. Perhaps the biggest negative: privacy. We send, receive, and store sensitive private information online.

 

Of course, the GDPR law (General Data Protection Regulation) ensures that we’re much more careful when dealing with the private information of customers. Companies and organisations have become more responsible and transparent with consumers about the types of data being read, stored, and shared.

Still, we’re stuck with 2 important questions:

  1. How secure is it to share and store sensitive private data on the internet?
  2. Can companies and senders share this information with each other in a safer way?


Twice as many data leaks


In 2018, the Dutch Data Protection Authority (Dutch DPA) received reports of 20,881 different instances of data leaks. The DPA notes that 63% of these breaches consisted of personal information being sent to the wrong recipient.

The number of data breaches in 2018 was more than twice as high as the number for 2017. We’re not surprised since it’s now mandatory for companies to report leaks. Do you have a data leak that might endanger the rights and freedoms of the individuals involved? Then you, as a company, are obligated to report the leak, both to those impacted as well as to the DPA. Failure to do so will result in a fine.

 

Data leaks in effect

A data leak can have a variety of causes. Personal data gets sent to the wrong place, information gets lost or stolen, or a whole data system gets hacked.

Bongo International, for example, stored 119,000 documents on an unsecured server. Approximately 3,000 of those documents were official Dutch identity documents. The ID data was submitted by customers as a way to officially identify themselves. Because of the unsecured server, the documents were subject to viewing and copying by unauthorized third parties. Alongside the official pieces of ID, there was additional personal information accessible.

 

How do you prevent a data leak?

Data leaks can happen to anyone, no matter how securely you store your data. DataChecker looked into an easy and user-friendly solution to more safely deal with sensitive private information like identity documents. The solution is to send that type of information through a Secure ID Link.


How does it work? The recipient will receive an SMS containing the link. They can then scan their piece of identification directly on a smartphone. The document is immediately encoded, sent, stored, and checked. After the document check is completed, results are shared immediately. This way, safely sending, receiving, and storing sensitive data is possible.

Would you like to know more about the Secure ID Link? Contact us directly or browse the possibilities.