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Posted at 4:46 PM ET, 01/28/2011

It's National Data Privacy Day

By Sarah Halzack

For all those anyone concerned about keeping their personal and everyday lives to themselves, Friday is a day to cheer. It's National Data Privacy Day.

The event is supported by nonprofit think tank The Privacy Project, which offers this explanation on its Web site for what the day is all about:

"In this networked world, in which we are thoroughly digitized, with our identities, locations, actions, purchases, associations, movements, and histories stored as so many bits and bytes, we have to ask - who is collecting all of this - what are they doing with it - with whom are they sharing it? Most of all, individuals are asking 'How can I protect my information from being misused?' These are reasonable questions to ask - we should all want to know the answers."

Even Congress has gotten behind the idea of a day devoted to data privacy.The House of Representatives and the Senate each passed a measure in 2009 supporting the designation.

In recent months, privacy issues have figured strongly into the global conversation about the tech industry. This fall, Google came under fire in the United States after the firm revealed that its attempts to collect information for its popular Street View app resulted in the accidental breach of data from WiFi networks.

Regulators in other countries, including Britain, Germany, Czech Republic and Canada, also investigated Google over the Street View flap.

Internet privacy was in the headlines again in December, when the FTC released a report that recommended the establishment of a "Do Not Track" mechanism for the Web, which would be based on the idea of the "Do Not Call" registry for telephone users.

And just this week, Google and Mozilla announced that new iterations of their popular Web browsers (Chrome and Firefox, respectively), would allow users to limit the extent to which their activity is tracked.

How worried are you about keeping your data private? What measures would you like to see implemented to protect you and other users? The comments section awaits.

By Sarah Halzack  | January 28, 2011; 4:46 PM ET
Categories:  Privacy  
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