Attorney General Ford urges Nevada residents to be careful with data | Nevada News


As part of Data Privacy Week, Attorney General Aaron D. Ford is urging Nevada consumers to be careful about their data and companies to take steps to protect and use consumer data prudently.

“Understanding that your data has value is one of the first steps in keeping your data secure,” he said. AG Ford. “Even the data you freely offer to legitimate companies can be dangerous if it falls into the hands of hackers.”

Data currency

Your personal information is valuable to legitimate companies such as service providers and merchants, as well as unscrupulous individuals such as hackers and scammers.

For example, according to the Information Assurance Center of Iowa State University, about 10 trillion records have been stolen since 2013, and the estimated income of attackers since 2018 is $1 trillion. In terms of fair use, Google made about $134 billion in ad revenue in 2019.

The data includes many details, including personal information such as full name and date of birth; personal information such as family members and pet names; interests; lifestyle habits, such as what you buy and where you visit; and secrets such as passwords or credit card numbers.

Some data is anonymous, which means it cannot be linked to you. However, this information is still valuable to companies as it shows how many times you visit a website and whether you click on links.

Attribution data is even more valuable and can be linked to your identity, such as your email. This is why some websites ask you to register to visit even if the content is free.

Communication methods

There are several ways companies and hackers can get your data. We often volunteer our data in exchange for services.

  • Online Accounts: If you subscribe to email lists, email notifications, or register on a website, you are alerting the company that you are interested in its product or service.
  • Social media. When you follow an account, like a page, or join a group, you are advertising your interests and lifestyle. This type of information is valuable to advertisers.
  • Games and apps. Many apps and games use ads to generate revenue by encouraging you to buy something. Often they are linked to social media accounts, which means you see the same information on different platforms.
  • Cookies: Far from being a tasty snack, a cookie is a tracker that a website places on your browser so they can track your online activities. Cookies are generally anonymous unless they are associated with attribution data on a website.
  • You may also unwittingly share your data through phishing, malware, ransomware, and other types of cyberattacks.

Legitimate companies profit from your data when you click on links or ads on their websites and make a purchase. The site can also get paid for the number of clicks on ads. Companies may also sell your anonymous data for profit.

Fraudsters can also use this data. They may try to trick you by using data to make their scam more convincing. Scammers can also impersonate you by creating social media accounts, using your credit card details to make purchases, or by guessing your passwords.

How to keep your data safe

The Nevada Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection offers the following tips to keep your data safe.

  • Never respond to unsolicited requests for your information, money, or links. Remember that even your personal interest can be a valuable currency for unscrupulous people.
  • Use strong multi-factor passwords.
  • Do not download anything from a website that you are not familiar with or do not trust. Look for the padlock symbol when visiting a website and HTTPS in the link, both of which indicate that the website is secure.
  • Protect your phone with password, fingerprint or face ID.
  • Don’t keep your secrets on your phone.
  • Spend some time browsing your devices to understand what data is being collected. Don’t forget wearable or smart devices in your home.

Corporate responsibility

Nevada companies must collect consumer data responsibly. In accordance with Nevada law, websites must include a link where Nevada residents can request that their personal information not be sold. This means that residents of Nevada can opt out of collecting data and cookies.

Increasingly, companies are using automated systems that use algorithms to make decisions about consumers based on collected data. These algorithms may affect the personal circumstances of consumers – for example, automated systems may result in a loan application being rejected or a higher interest rate being offered. Consumer health can also be affected, for example, if an algorithm accidentally considers pet painkillers to be the owners’ medicines, causing the automated system to deny patients pain medicines.

Companies using these automated systems must take steps to check their automated systems for misreporting, bias, and security risks to ensure that their algorithms do not exclude (or disclose information about) specific participants or eligible recipients from financial, medical, or other core products. and services (or disclosed information about them). Services.

Companies should evaluate whether an algorithm-based decision is needed, and consumers should be able to explicitly consent to an algorithm-based decision.

The Federal Trade Commission has published several resources on these and related topics.

For more information on automated decision making visit: 2Faiming-true-fairness-equity-your-companys-use-ai.

For more information about protecting your privacy, visit:

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