The future of privacy rights in the United States of America is uncertain. Many states have passed a patchwork of privacy laws, but there is no federal law that protects the privacy rights of U.S. residents.
In 2022, instead of strengthening privacy rights on the federal level, the focus has been on weakening privacy rights. If the right to privacy is no longer recognized as a constitutional right, there will be numerous unintended consequences.
As a digital user, you must take steps to protect your privacy. First, you should be aware of how third parties access your data. Additionally, you should be cautious about entering your personal data into apps.
Third Party Access
Service providers often allow third parties to access personal data until a user decides to “opt out” by changing their settings or submitting a request. Third parties that purchase and access personal data include advertisers, data aggregators, and law enforcement.
Setting privacy controls is a good step to limit the sharing of personal data. However, if there is a criminal investigation, a service provider could be compelled to hand over personal data in response to a warrant, subpoena, or court order.
While no one can predict exactly how data will be used by a third party, personal data is often used for doxing individuals to harass and intimate them. To avoid being tracked, you should limit or shut off location sharing as much as possible.
Health Apps and Data
You should consider if you have entered any sensitive data into an app. Most reputable apps should have a way to control your data. As an example, here’s how to delete your private information from the Health app on an iPhone:
- Open the “Health” app
- Access your Profile
- Scroll down to “Privacy”
- Click on “Apps” and “Health”
- Select “Delete All Data from Heath”