That’s right, it’s that time of year again.  And, as always, we in the Taft Privacy & Data Security practice encourage you to celebrate responsibly (especially as we have the full weekend to do so).

And if you are thinking, “Scot, you’re making this holiday up so you can push more privacy and security propaganda.”  You would be wrong.   International Privacy Day is a thing.  Jan. 28 has been set aside as a date to raise awareness and generally promote proper use and safeguarding of personal data.  While it started in Europe, it is now recognized by more than 50 countries.

Why Jan. 28? The date is important because on this date in 1981, the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (say that five times quickly) was introduced for signature by the Council of Europe.  The day has been recognized in the United States since 2009, when the House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution declaring Jan. 28 as “National Privacy Day.” (Imagine that. A day when something passed unanimously!)  The Senate followed suit in the years after.

If you regularly follow us here, you know that we in the Taft Privacy and Data Security practice group encourage you to use this day to not only look at how your business can better use and protect personal data, but also take a look at how your privacy values are being respected and addressed by the businesses and technologies you frequent.  Just do one thing differently today! Such as….

  • Update your passwords to strong passwords. (Yes, there’s a day for that, too.)
  • Ensure you have implemented Multi-Factor Authentication across your organization (and on any online accounts in which you keep sensitive data).
  • Answer these questions: What is a personal VPN and how can it help me?
  • See how easy it can be to encrypt your devices and messages.

Trust me—just like working out a little each day can have a big impact on your health and how you feel—little changes in the way you choose to process personal information and secure it can have a big impact on your overall compliance and brand.

For more information, check out or sign up for our Privacy and Data Security Insights blog, you can also find great information through the International Association of Privacy Professionals and through StaySafeOnline.

And, new this year, you will soon be able to download our free Taft Privacy mobile app, which will let you:

  • Stay up-to-date on data security and privacy news, developments, and events.
  • Get daily tips on privacy and security compliance and best practices.
  • Access content from Taft’s Privacy and Data Security attorneys, including helpful checklists and other resources.
  • Search for Privacy and Data Security attorneys at Taft and easily contact our team.

The app will be available to download next month through the Apple App Store or Google Play.

So make a new year’s resolution and use International Privacy Day as an opportunity to start baking good privacy and security practices into your business and personal life. Now is the time.  Just get started.  Taft Privacy & Data Security stands ready to help.