Sensitive data is a specific category of personal data which needs a higher degree of protection, because it can reveal very intimate aspects of a person. This can include information about your health, political ideology or sexual orientation. We inevitably provide such data to search engines and social networks. If you get ill, there is no other easy way of finding information online about your symptoms or disease than using a search engine. The sensitivity of these data increases when they are combined with non-sensitive data that can be directly connected to you, such as your name, gender and sex. This information can then also be shared with third parties.
Why is this important?
In countries where human rights are respected the availability of these data might only lead to small annoyances, like seeing advertising related to your work or hobbies. Sometimes, it can also result in outright discrimination, such as your health records ending up in the hands of an insurance company that wants to charge you more because you seem to have a higher risk of a certain illness. In more repressive countries, the availability of sensitive information can lead to prosecution and torture. This is for example the case in Russia, where members of the LGBT community are frequently prosecuted.
How to protect myself online?
The video was prepared by our member Association for Technology and Internet (ApTI) – Romania.
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