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DATA PRIVACY: OPT IN VS OPT OUT – KNOWING DIFFERENCE AND MAKING A CHOICE

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Mithun Ivalkar
DATA PRIVACY: OPT IN VS OPT OUT – KNOWING DIFFERENCE AND MAKING A CHOICE

When was the last time that you read terms and conditions in detail before you checked that box and clicked ‘I agree’? 

Have you faced the ‘inbox is full’ problem? Many times it is the unwanted promotional mails that clog our personal email inboxes. Try as much as you may, you still end up subscribing to or consenting to receive some newsletters and promotional mails. This happens when you use certain websites that ask you to proactively provide your consent for that. So when you want to access that interesting article of some publication or a tool developed by a company, you are required to fill in your details and you take affirmative action and check the box to agree to receive mails from them/ permit the company to use your information for further use or promotional content. 

What starts as an innocent check, ends up in piles of emails and newsletters clogging your inbox. So you end up with two issues: 

  • Your data is already in the hands of the company
  • You have to empty the inbox or unsubscribe to avoid it

With online transactions becoming the most preferred medium for purchases and data consumption, we (unwillingly) give away our personal data most of the time along with our active consent to receive further communication (read: emails, newsletters, SMS). Companies play it safe by asking your permission and make you take an action (by ticking a box or clicking on an ‘I accept’ box. This way, they are legally safe. This is of much significance in today’s times when what we share and whom we share with matters a lot. With big data, data mining and data analytics ruling the world, every single person is a unit of data for marketers. My name, age, address, mobile no. profession, interest areas, hobbies, purchase history, everything becomes a data point which can then be used to target me with relevant (their term) ads. 

Opt-in and Opt-out: What is the difference? 

The opt-in option is part of the European and Canadian Data Protection Agencies while the Opt-out is that of the American.  Read more...


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Mithun Ivalkar
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