privacyThe concerns about data privacy so prevalent this past year were reignited with the July release of the Windows 10 platform from Microsoft. As part of its publication as a free download for existing users, Windows 10  automatically defaulted to sharing personal user information with the company. Although an option to disable the features in question was provided, some users claim Windows 10 still seemed to be sending information back to Microsoft even after the option to disable was employed.

“Personal information is collected and used for a variety of reasons, but it is usually something benign like advertising or personalizing an application, says Jason Fossen, a fellow at the SANS Institute.

Fossen’s comments, in a recent Tech Republic article on privacy and Windows 10, highlighted the dilemma of individuals and businesses living and working in today’s high-tech world.

With major hacks and security breaches regularly in the news, many users want clarity about how their data is transmitted, secured, and used. They also want more control over who gets and uses their personal data.

“Given the sensitivity of privacy that’s arisen over the last couple years, I think it’s fair to say that individuals want the choice to decide how their systems interact with the world,” says John Pironti, president of IP Architects.

The opt-in/op-out dilemma, Pironti adds, may be unique to Americans. “Users in countries like the U.S. have come to accept opt-out as the de facto model for new software and services,” he says. “However, places such as the UK [Britain] and EU [European Union] have an opt-in model where the default is to send no personal information, but users can click a button, or check [a] box, to allow their information to be used.”

For today’s business owner the question is where to draw the line in sharing personal or business data and how can you protect yourself?

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Originally published October 29, 2015 by Jireh Communications. Reprinted by permission.

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