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Timeline of Data
Privacy - Defining

  • Feb 2012 Target made headlines for marketing to a teenager about being pregnant before her father knew
  • Jun 2013 Edward Snowden revelations about surveillance of American people, and the personal data accessed by the gov’t about Americans
  • Nov 2013 Target Breach — Hacked via HVAC system, hackers stole data from up to 40 million credit and debit cards. Target Slapped with a $18.5M fine
  • Nov 2014 Sony pictures hack — A North Korean hacker group, called Guardians of Peace, leaked information about Sony, its movies and celebrities
  • Oct 2015 Safe Harbor — that once allowed the transfer of European citizens data to the US—is no longer valid, and is replaced soon after with Privacy Shield
  • Mar 2018 Whistleblower, Chris Wylie, exposed that Facebook was misusing personal data beloning to millions of users without their consent and was used by Cambridge Analytica. The data was used to influence elections using tpsychological targeting, spooking people across the globe. 
  • May 2018 GDPR goes into effect, one of the most influential and important data privacy regulations ever.
  • Jan 2020 CCPA goes into effect, giving Californians similar rights to privacy as Europeans received with GDPR.
  • Nov 2020 Californians voted to approve a ballot measure to extend the privacy given under CCPA
  • Jan 2021 Facebook changes the privacy policy in WhatsApp—telling users it will share What'sApp data with Facebook, driving thousands of users to delete WhatsApp and move to Signal.
  • Apr 2021 Apple releases App Tracking Transparency feature that enables people to opt-out of apps tracking the on their iPhone. It gets adopted like wildfire.
  • May 2021 Apple vs. Facebook wars — Apple aggressively promotes privacy and forces apps ask for permission to track users. Facebook is pushing back saying it’s bad for small businesses.
  • Sep 2021 Facebook Whistleblower, Frances Haugen, unveils just how much data is used to influence us, our buying decisions, our mental health, etc.
  • Jun 2022 With the overturning of Roe v. Wade the federal gov’t is scrambling on what to do to protect some of the privacy protections that were tied to that decision.
  • Aug 2022 “The kid gloves are coming off,” Said the California AG, Rob Bonta after fining Sephora for violated the CCPA.

The intensity of impactful privacy events increases overtime, and taken collectively, have given rise to an increased concern about privacy, action and a willingness to walk away or even spend more if their personal data isn't treated respectfully.

Here's what we learned.