Privacy by Default

As you probably have noticed I had a lot of conversations about data privacy, data regulation and GDPR in last period. It is a hot topic and many companies have no clue what to do. Others know what to do but heavily resist because it affects their business model. A term that came up is privacy by default. But what does this really means for you and me? Let us start by defining the term: Privacy by Default.

What is Privacy by Default

Privacy by default is when the settings of a software program on your computer, an app on your phone or tablet, a website or service are standardized at the maximum level of privacy. This is your starting point after downloading or installing the programs or apps. You get to choose if you want to adjust the setting to less privacy in case of usage.

It is not only about the settings in an app or software program when you install this application but also about the terms and conditions you have to accept before you can use it. No opting out, but Opt-In as the basic rule. You only get messaging when you approved it.


The importance of Privacy by Default is not that hard to recognize. Protecting the people who need to be protect against abuse of their data.  Most of us just click or tap on yes if the app is downloaded. When do not care reading all the terms and conditions because it takes us a long time and we just want to use the application we were looking for. Privacy By Default protect the people who just click.

Breaching the rules

Here you can read some examples about how companies breach the rules. Maybe it will open the eyes of many and otherwise it is just good to remember.

  • Sharing on social media set as standard
  • Asking for data such as date of birth when there is no relevance.
  • Including in the terms and conditions that your data will be shared with third parties.
  • Apps that read and copy your complete adress book.
  • Apps that share your location constantly without your knowledge and permission
  • Automated login and connecting on other websites
  • Pre-Filled forms with acceptance of every newsletter and marketing activity.

Good luck with protecting your privacy. The government and the EU will help as far as they can. In my opinion is it a matter of being careful and aware of the possibilities. I have no opinion of regulations are wrong or right and how far governments can go by introducing new legislation. However even legislation gives companies opportunities.