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The Dwindling Importance of Online Privacy


Today, the biggest question mark that is imprinted on the technological developments globally is the safety of the constantly booming digital world.  Be it about businesses or individuals, the privacy has become a very common conversation topic since last few years.

According to the recent research by Symantec, form-jacking has evolved and become stealthier in the last couple of months, where attackers are now injecting malicious codes into websites to steal more than just credit card information. In fact, Kaspersky’s latest report suggests that the Russians are snooping around everything that one can do on the web by installing a patch on Google Chrome and Firefox.

The research by Symantec revealed that the volume of such attacks is only increasing with time, mainly because of two reasons: they are difficult to detect for end users and can be very lucrative for cyber criminals. In addition, the attacks are quite simple to conduct, and the injected malicious JavaScript is not difficult to create. The cybercriminal involved in these attacks surreptitiously steal payment card data and other personal information in the background.

Symantec has seen a major uptick in form-jacking attacks recently, with publicly reported attacks on the websites of companies including Ticketmaster, British Airways, Feedify, and Newegg by a number of groups summarized as Magecart being the most prominent examples. With this, the question arises how long is it going to continue and what is the way out?

Future of Privacy

The European Union has fined google $9.3 billion for dubious practices such as manipulating search results to push their own products and services, shutting out competitors in their contracts with advertisers, and a slew of other measures that tantamount to monopolistic trade practices. In fact, when it comes to Indian authorities, we appear to be toddlers in terms of catching and punishing such acts, says an article published in the Mint website.

Last month, individual states in the US launched an investigation into Google’s “potential monopolistic behavior” and its effect on smaller companies. The $820-billion search giant dominates online advertising, hogging nearly one-third of global digital ad spend, estimates eMarketer.

Inspired by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), India is also working on its data protection law. However, will the law enforcement serve a solution to the situation? May or may not. The chances could be slim. Privacy is not only about where the data is stored but it is more to do with how the data is encrypted, processed, shared and accessed.

The companies ought to take the onus, especially those who are trusted more by the consumers than others. CXOs must think of privacy from strategic standpoint rather than a compliance tick box.

It is only from the trust and responsibility-based framework that businesses and nations can combat the privacy issue.

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