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Your permanent address

Your children’s school

Your credit card information

Demographics you fall under (gender, age, height/weight…)

The check-in info you give at a hotel

Your Facebook update

Your instagram post

Your Linkedin job application

The list goes on… These are all the pieces of personal data we give away every single day on multiple occasions to search engines, other people and organizations. 

We leave a digital footprint, comprised of active and passive footprints, with our online presence. Active footprint is what we leave behind by our social media posts on a public domain. We know or we should very well know that our comments on Facebook and our Tweets on Twitter will be permanently stored on the internet. On the other hand, our Passive Footprint is the less obvious one: it is what the companies are tracing and recording on our internet behaviors, including our browsing and purchasing history. This data is particularly valuable for companies targeting you as potential customers. This passive footprint is not limited to digital only but can extend to all information companies collect offline as well such as a conference registration, job interviews or restaurant reservations.

As social media users, we need to be sensible of our language used and photos posted in order to protect our own personal and professional image. Sometimes an innocent post written on the spur of the moment can cause a serious problem in the years to come.

Let’s now take the company’s perspective: How to protect the personal data of customers and employees?

In Turkey, an act called Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu (KVKK) or Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) came into effect on March 2016 in order to regulate personal data. The purpose of KVKK is to protect the privacy of the personal data and prevent the spread of personal data through third parties. Companies are given a transition period in order to comply with the act till December 31, 2019 by appointing staff who will be in charge of personal data and by registering personal data on VERBIS, an online system created by KVKK.

As a result of KVKK, new positions in charge of processing personal data will be created within each company. Data professionals will be responsible for processing data based on the KVKK act and they will assure that personal data practices of all departments in the company conform with the act.

In the data age, where data is valued as a trending currency, companies should be fully aware of the importance of personal data and take all the necessary measures to protect their people’s data.