Data Privacy Day is celebrated internationally each year on January 28. It was adopted in the United States and Canada in 2008 as an extension of Europe’s own Data Privacy Day, which observes the signing of the first international data protection treaty (Convention 108) on January 28, 1981. Data Privacy Day is an opportunity to gain awareness about how you can best protect your personal information not just from prying eyes and bad actors, but also ensure that your information is only being utilized for legitimate business purposes.
In this fast-paced age of technology and social media, we as consumers tend to freely trade our personal information for perceived convenience. Almost everything is available immediately at our fingertips 24/7, but sometimes at the expense of our privacy. The use and selling of our information by social media platforms and technology companies is a constant fixture at Congressional hearings in recent years. Consumers and governments, both internationally and domestically, are demanding greater transparency from companies regarding their data collection, use, and storage practices. Personal information in the wrong hands leads to fraud, identity theft, and reputational loss. How can we take control of our personal information?
There are simple steps that you can perform to take control of your own privacy.
- Read company privacy policies before committing to use or purchase their goods or services. What information are they requesting and is it reasonable and necessary to maintain the business relationship? Will they share or sell your information to third parties? What rights do you have to opt-out of the company sharing your information? Will they track your online behavior?
- Update your privacy settings on social media, customer account profiles, and apps on your mobile devices and tablets. Settings may by default share your information and posts publicly or give a company access to information on your device such as your location, photos, contacts, and other documents.
- Exercise consumer data rights afforded to you under various federal, international, and state laws by requesting to know what information a company collected about you and requesting to delete any information that is not necessary to maintain the business relationship.
- Register your telephone number(s) with the and state level Do Not Call programs. This will reduce telemarketing calls. Companies with whom you have an existing business relationship may still contact you to offer additional products or services. You can request directly from those companies to only contact you to service your account.
- Prevent identity theft by reducing the number of prescreened credit and insurance offers mailed to your home by registering with . This service is operated by the major credit reporting agencies.
- Use unsubscribe links in marketing emails to reduce clutter in your inbox. By law, marketing emails must contain a link to unsubscribe, in addition to contact information such as a physical address and working telephone number.
- Be aware of phishing emails and text messages aimed at stealing your personal information. Do not click links from companies that you do not know and look for tell-tale signs that an email or text message is fraudulent such as misspellings and email addresses that don’t make sense (e.g., it is not a .gov or .org). Report suspicious emails and telephone numbers as spam.
Now that you are armed with resources to protect your privacy, it’s important to understand how PNC works to safeguard your personal information. You have entrusted PNC to handle your information with care, and we do that in numerous ways.
- PNC is governed by federal, state, and international privacy and data security laws. We are held to the highest standard of protecting information and offer tools to manage your privacy.
- For existing customers, call 1-800-762-2118 to opt-out of PNC sharing your information. You can also limit sharing by visiting any PNC branch or via PNC’s Mobile app and Online Banking. Your privacy elections are indefinite and will not change unless you change them.
- You may also determine when and how you wish to be contacted by PNC by updating your contact preferences. All PNC marketing messages feature an “unsubscribe” link, which will opt you out of all future marketing messages.
- For all things privacy, if you do not wish to update your preferences via Online Banking or the Mobile app, or you can exercise your data privacy rights by visiting a branch or contacting Customer Care at 1-888-PNC-BANK (1-888-762-2265).
You are now ready to take control of your privacy!
For additional resources and tips for protecting your information, visit pnc.com/securitytips. Thank you for celebrating Data Privacy Day with PNC!