Since the social life of young people is partly online, it is normal for them to trust it and exchange information of a private nature. From there to expose oneself publicly without wanting to or without measuring the consequences, there is a step that a serene education in digital practices should make it possible not to cross.

The first step would be to find out how your personal data is protected, what rights you have to regain control of your data, and what to do if you have a problem.

A personal data breach tends to occur when a security breach results in the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorized disclosure of, or access to, processed personal data. Where appropriate, the organization holding the personal data have to notify the Supervisory Authority as soon as possible. If the violation of personal data is likely to create a high risk for your rights and freedoms, and the risk has not been mitigated, you, as a person, must also be informed.

With this example we would try to make it more simple to you: You booked a taxi through an online application. The taxi company has suffered a major violation of personal data, and the driver’s user data have been stolen. It appears that there was no precise security in place to protect personal data. The company should have let you known of this act of violation. When this happens, you can file a complaint against the taxi company with the National Data Protection Authority (DPA).

What if I think my rights to personal data protection have not been respected? Three options are available to you if you feel that your rights of data protection have been violated:

  • complain with your National Data Protection Authority (DPA)
  • The authority investigates and gives you information about the progress or the outcome of your complaint within three months.
  • take legal action against a company/organization

If you believe that a company or an organization has violated your rights of data protection, you can take legal action against it directly. This does not prevent you from lodging a complaint with the National ODA if you so wish.

Taking legal action against ODA

If you feel that APD has not dealt with your complaint correctly, or if you are not satisfied with its response, or if it has not informed you of the progress or outcome within three months from the submission of your complaint, you may bring a direct action against APD.

In cases where the company against which the complaint was lodged processes data in different European Union Countries. In this case, the competent ODA processes the claim in cooperation with the ODA established in the other European Union Countries. This system, known as the “single window” mechanism, allows complaints to be handled more effectively. For example, it links your claim to other similar claims in other European Union Countries. The ODA to which you have lodged your complaint is your main point of contact.

In addition, here you have some tips for protecting your data on the internet: “Ideas change, data stays,” these words are important for illustrating a campaign to raise awareness about the protection of personal data on the Internet. Each information collected by the various sites visited by a user is recorded, preserved, and used, often without his or her knowledge. Protecting your private data has therefore become an imperative. But how do we do that?

  • Avoid divulging personal data
  • Effectively protect your computer (You can install a recent firewall in your computer. It should allow you to filter the spyware that hackers develop to collect your personal data, for example your credit card number, inside your machine.)
  • Clean regularly (With each connection, your browser (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, etc.) stores a number of “cookies” (see box P. 85). You can delete them, as well as your browsing history and the data you leave behind when you fill out a form (for example when you buy online).)