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Protection of Personal Data in the Digital Era

Spanish version by David Rey Frausto García, candidate to PHD in Public Administration. English Version by: Terry Ahtziry Cardenas Banda, corporate attorney, internationalist, and law professor.

All of us as human beings are members of a society, a society that changes very quickly, we currently live in the era of technology, artificial intelligence, and digital worlds, there forward we could assert with complete certainty that absolutely everyone, from the moment that we are born and throughout our lives we are immersed in one way or another as part of a society.

Little is said about personal data in this digital age, but instead we are facing a new paradigm where it is necessary to know, even in a simple way, the new reality in which we all live, in that sense understanding personal data as an element related to a person that identifies him or makes him identifiable and that allows us to know about any person elements such as his nationality, racial origin, political ideology, age, state of health, economic and family situation, etc., and even more delicate, data as highly personal as the structure of the iris., retina structure, fingerprint, voice features, facial structure just to mention a few, elements that by their very nature are considered private and due to their importance and significance, privacy is considered a human right empowering all states to carry out all regulations in this matter.

The birth of the protection of personal data at an international level can be found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, similarly in “Convention 108” or “Strasbourg Convention” signed in 1981 and its additional protocol dated November 8, 2001, better known as the “108 plus Convention”, agreements whose main purpose is to guarantee any person their right to privacy with respect to the automated use of their personal data, hence various states have created regulations with the which they try to regulate such a delicate issue and of such special interest mainly with the entry and rapid development of the so-called information technologies and artificial intelligences that are already a reality in our society.

Currently, any institution, whether public or private, collects information from the people with whom it has interaction, no matter how minimal it may be, which is stored in large databases for reuse, which is not always done in accordance with regulations, therefore given the great technological advances and the lack of notion of the importance of the treatment of personal data by people in general, this results in great social problems, it is common that we share data on a daily basis when performing tasks as simple as buy a new cell phone, television, or even so-called smart appliances, because everyone of us, before being able to use them, we must accept the licenses, permits and privacy policy they requested and given the large volume of these contracts, their content is not actually known, coupled with the fact that if you do not accept them you cannot make full use of the devices, adding to this that in recent years the so-called artificial intelligence has been developed, which is available to everyone through everyday applications for text processing, image creation, information analysis, etc.

In this context, although it is true, the purpose of having technological advances is to simplify tasks in any area of people’s lives. It is also necessary, first of all, to have full awareness of the benefits but also of the risks that this could bring, and secondly that the authorities are prepared with regulations and human capital to guarantee the human right to privacy, taking into account what has already happened in past years and decades we can give two clear examples of scandals at a global level, one of them is the Facebook with “Cambridge Analytica” in 2018, in which it processed and treated data for political purposes without the consent of the users of this social network, influencing the feelings and thoughts of their political ideology; another case of global interest occurred with the “misuse of the voice” of the artists Bad Bunny, Justin Bieber and Daddy Yankee with the launch of a musical song in which they did not participate but rather a user using artificial intelligence copied the vocal features of the artists in a total violation of privacy, biometric data, copyright; moreover we can also find countless cases at the local level such as “identity theft” that is generally carried out for the purpose of obtaining loans or using information and bank accounts to the detriment of their legitimate owners.

In conclusion, we can say that personal data is the new gold with which it is profitable on the internet and in the digital world due to the new technical advances that are allowing this information to be exploited to achieve different objectives, for this reason, said rights must be fully guaranteed by the states, likewise and no less important to achieve awareness regarding their use.

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