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My data is my data even without any engagement or interactions on my data

I am interested to know what happens to my data in the organization beyond what they have mentioned in their data privacy policy.

Data privacy, ownership, stewardship, and data sovereignty have been driving the technology strategy in the recent years. In many domains, the compliance and policy for the regulatory and legal (such as GDPR in the EU) are part of an organization’s design itself such as in fintech, healthcare, insurance, and in the real estate.

When we fill a form to sign for a technology conference, or download a university program admission brochure, or to book train tickets, we are concerned about the use of our data. Because this is our data. My information that I am Vinish Garg, and I live in Chandigarh, is my data.

Of course they might already know my details and they have this information from thousands of data resources but the information that belongs to me and that I am sharing on a digital interface by my choice, is my data. And I can change any part of my information—my name, or city, or whether I cannot anything such as my date of birth. I am interested to know what happens to my data in the organization beyond what they have mentioned in their data privacy policy.

Even if they just see and process my data in their internal spreadsheets, it is still my data.

Benedict Evans wrote a post recently that our data is not our data when it is merely the data. According to Benedict, data is in the interactions, engagements, actions, and the processing and operations on our information because this is what the companies need and they build on.

I do not agree that data privacy or ownership has anything to do with any actions on my data. Data even if merely stored and saved without any defined or clear reasons is also my data.

The Cities Coalition for Digital Rights has put together a Digital Rights Governance Framework that focuses on the local safeguarding of human rights in the digital context of city governments. Education about data privacy and data journey and the boundaries are an important part of digital rights literacy. Specifically, it outlines how cities can uphold a human rights-based approach with regards to the digitalisation of their services and to some extent the digitalisation of the city.

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Vinish Garg

Vinish Garg

I am Vinish Garg, and I work with growing product teams for their product strategy, product vision, product positioning, product onboarding and UX, and product growth. I work on products for UX and design leadership roles, product content strategy and content design, and for the brand narrative strategy. I offer training via my advanced courses for content strategists, content designers, UX Writers, content-driven UX designers, and for content and design practitioners who want to explore product and system thinking.

Interested to stay informed about my work, talks, writings, programs, or projects? See a few examples of my past newsletters—All things products, Food for design, Inviting for 8Knorks. You can subscribe to my emails here.

Vinish Garg is an independent consultant in product content strategy, content design leadership, and product management for growing product teams.