Well, at least according to Geekwire. In the US and Canada, the day commemorates the 1981 signing of Convention 108, an international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection. (In Europe, where it originated, it’s known as Data Protection Day.)
With privacy and the personal data on the internet under attack by secret services and international espionage programs, we need to be more aware than ever, and work harder than ever, if we want to use the internet as a free and democratic medium again — we have to fix the internet to provide the security and privacy that people deserve.
The internet and the world wide web were originally designed as distributed and federated networks. There was no need for central servers because everyone is equal and can provide services, publish information and access data equally.
In the last few years we’ve seen a trend to more centralized services like Facebook, Google, Dropbox and others — that makes censoring of content, surveillance and espionage very easy. The internet community has got to go back to a more federated approach — back to the internet’s original intent. Federated web services make it easier to guarantee the basic rights for people to control their own data as described in the user data manifesto (userdatamanifesto.org).
So, come celebrate with me (in Germany I will have beer and wurst of course) and demand privacy, demand control of your data. And, by the way, read the Geekwire story – good stuff!