Individuals value their privacy, including the privacy of their personal data. Protecting the public’s right to privacy is an important goal both for governments and private enterprises. Securing communications with end-to-end encryption can help ensure the public’s privacy rights and keep their private information private.
Understanding the Right to Privacy
In the United States and most first-world countries citizens have an implied right to their privacy. This right protects them from government intrusion into their private lives and protects their personal information from public scrutiny. Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously referred to it as “the right to be left alone.”
In today’s digital world, however, individuals implicitly or explicitly share much private information with the companies with which they interact. Consumers willingly provide their street address, phone number, email address, and other similar information to a variety of websites. Internet users implicitly allow companies to track their behavior on their sites and to track which sites they visit. Even worse, people post all sorts of personal information freely on social media, without regard to their own personal privacy.
This explosion of personal information online – and the widespread sharing of that information by the companies that collect it – is changing the cavalier ways that people have previously dealt with their right to privacy. Citizens today are now questioning how much data they want to share online and how much control other entities should have over their personal data.
In response to large companies recklessly using and seemingly abusing their private information, 86% of Americans have reduced or deleted the personal information they provide online. People are starting to turn against social media and other companies that they no longer trust with their private information; 65% of data breach victims say they’ve lost trust in the company that experienced the breach.
In addition, governments around the globe are enacting new legislation to protect the privacy rights of their citizens. For example, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulates the confidentiality of personal health information in the healthcare industry. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) regulates the privacy of financial data in the finance industry. And the California Consumer Protection Act regulates the use of personal information collected by all companies that do business with citizens of that state.
In short, the right to privacy has never been more important than it is today.
What End-to-End Encryption Is and How It Works
Data stored online needs to be protected from malicious actors intent on stealing it and selling it to the highest bidder. There are various ways to protect online data, of which encryption is one of the most effective.
Encryption works by scrambling data and locking it with an encryption key. The encrypted data is unreadable until it is unscrambled with a matching decryption key.
For data transmitted via video, voice, or text communication, traditional encryption isn’t enough, as it only protects data at rest. Protecting data in transit requires end-to-encryption, where communications are fully encrypted throughout the entire process, not just on the host servers. Any communications intercepted in transit are unreadable because malicious actors cannot decrypt the communications without the proper key.
For example, Wickr’s secure communications platform uses military grade 256-bit multilayered authenticated end-to-end encryption to protect all communications and collaboration. This encryption is so strong it would take trillions of years to break a single key, thus thoroughly thwarting the efforts of even the most dedicated malicious actors.
How the Right to Privacy is Affected by End-to-End Encryption
Privacy advocates want individuals to remain in control of their own private information. They oppose any actions that compromise the right to privacy, whether that’s a company illicitly collecting and selling customer data, a law enforcement or government agency spying on citizens, or cybercriminals stealing and illegally disseminating personal information.
Because of its effectiveness in protecting sensitive data, privacy advocates worldwide embrace end-to-end encrypted communications. The goal is to keep private data and messages away from all prying eyes, and end-to-end encryption does it. No individual or entity – no hacker, no cybercriminal, no company or organization or government – can access data and communications protected with end-to-end encryption. It’s the ultimate tool to protect individuals’ right to privacy.
Bottom line, end-to-end encryption is one of the most effective ways to protect the privacy of your customers and your employees. Employing a communications platform that incorporates end-to-end encryption should be an essential part of your organization’s data privacy strategy.
Let Wickr’s End-to-End Encryption Enhance Your Data Privacy
Wickr fully supports the right to privacy in online communications and collaboration. Wickr’s secure communications and collaboration platform uses end-to-end encryption and other military-grade security to ensure that text, voice, and video communications and data files containing valuable customer data cannot be hijacked or breached by data thieves, government agencies, or other entities. When you want to Improve your organization’s data privacy, turn to Wickr – and ensure that all of your customers’ data remains private and secure.
Contact Wickr today to learn more about how secure communications can enhance the right to privacy in your organization.