Consumers need to get smarter about protecting personal info online, says cyber expert

Posted at 1:53 PM, Jan 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-17 14:53:42-05

Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote an op-ed for Time magazine, stating that we as consumers should no longer put up with companies keeping our data and the apparent inability to control our digital lives.

"In 2019, it's time to stand up for the right to privacy," Cook writes in part.

He says the federal government needs to step in, passing federal privacy legislation. Cook says we all have a right to know what data is being collected and why. Cook believes companies should make it easy for us to "access, correct, and delete your personal data."

“I completely agree,” says cyber security expert Fred Kneip. “I think the government should be doing something.”

Kneip is CEO of CyberGRX, a firm that works to minimize cyber risks for companies. He says he believes the notion of the government stepping in is a workable plan, and he thinks it will happen.

“And the issue though is: is that enough? And what else can be done?” he says.

Kneip says we as consumers need to get smarter, too. He says the public should be demanding more transparency from companies, and if they remain secretive, simply, don't use their platforms.

That's especially true when it comes to social media apps like Facebook or LinkedIn.

“People put so much out there online, about every single thing they do in their life,” Kneip says. “And it’s remarkable.”

While Kneip applauds the sentiment behind Tim Cook's op-ed, he says we should be wary of any company that's trying to help write the rules.

“We should also be cognizant of not necessarily letting Google, Apple, Facebook, others design this regulation, because as they may look altruistic on the surface, they’re a business, and this is important to them,” Kneip says.