Since the introduction of mobile phones into the Nigerian community in the early 2000s, our need and understanding of data has only grown in quantum leaps. This is evident in the increasing quality of our data network, from the early days of GPRS through EDGE, 2G, 3G, 4G, all the way to 5G. With increased sophistication in communication comes increased access to data.
Before we delve into the world of data and how it affects you and I, let’s define data and get a scope of its reach. Data (sing. datum) can be defined as a representation of facts, concepts, or instructions in a formalized manner, which should be suitable for communication, interpretation, or processing by human or electronic machine.
Data is represented with the help of characters such as alphabets (A-Z, a-z), digits (0-9) or special characters (+,-,/,*,<,>,= etc.), while data can extend to a number of fields, we will keep ours within the digital world. Data has been described as the new oil of the digital economy.
In the early days of mobile phones, data was primarily stored on memory disks. Due to the small amount of data older mobile phones needed to operate, a 250Mb or a 500Mb sized memory disk was enough. Nowadays, we process huge chunks of data per second, units of data storage capacity are constantly changing (newest being the brontobyte). Also, the cloud storage system has come into play to help organizations cope with huge amounts of data.
As individuals or organizations, data represents everything about us that many times we would like to protect from an unauthorized third party; enter Privacy. Data privacy is the protection of personal data from those who should not have access to it and the ability of individuals to determine who can access their personal information(cloudflare). With the increased interconnectivity of the world’s data system and the dependence of security (at times national security) on data, the issue of privacy has become a sort of political touchpoint.
Data Privacy is centered around how data should be collected, stored, managed, and shared with any third parties, as well as compliance with the applicable privacy laws (such as California Consumer Privacy Act- CCPA or General Data Protection Regulation GDPR).
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