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Have you ever wondered to what extent your personal privacy is important to you? And also, what does it actually mean for you?

Whenever you Google “privacy” a few things pop up; a definition, which basically comes down to your specific personal environment, and second; a warning by Google stressing the importance of safety and security of your data.

But what if your data would not be as safe as you think… We are trying to protect ourselves from people walking into our house, open the cabinet and just browse through all our personal belongings (if not worse). We consider that an extreme invasion of our personal space. But what is the reason that we all click on “Accept” whenever some cookie-pop-up appears? What we browse on the internet, what we click on, how many seconds we stay on a certain page, allowing all cookie-users to create a profile of our “consumer behaviour” in such a specific way that marketing-gurus know you are pregnant even before you do. This is not even a joke. In 2012 already, a company was able to identify a girl was pregnant on the hand of her on-line activity.(

Let’s put that thing to the side. Now, here’s the issue; We do not allow people to walk into our homes and “raid our rooms”, but we do not take into consideration what a trail of personal information we leave behind when clicking on that “Accept”-button. I do not appreciate people taking my wallet, checking out the amount of money that’s in it, and especially not looking at all those cards. All those cards, my name, address, insurance details, pictures and so on. This made me think, and brings me to my next point; Whenever we are looking for a new job, nowadays we all do this online. Some of us might even do this while working, ironically enough. We find a function that is interesting and appealing to us, so we decide for ourselves that perhaps it’s time for a new challenge. It’s rather easy, you can click on “Apply”, a new screen pops up, we fill in our personal details, upload our (fancy-pancy-freshly-updated) resume, scroll down, tick the box “I agree to the terms and conditions” and it’s done!

How easy was that, right?!

So, to make it all clear; You applied for a position at a company that makes use of Platform X, where that company always posts its vacancies. Now the company has all your personal information, everything they need to know about you, your job history, perhaps even your social security number is on it. You might think; Yes, so where is this story going? The order is completely logical, right? – Absolutely.

However, what did we not “really look into” while applying for this new dream job, are the terms and conditions. Do you actually know what’s in it?

Let me tell you; There is a reason that terms and conditions are formulated in a way 80% of us does not completely understands what they actually mean, and also; that font size, really?! Whenever you agree by ticking that box, you also agree to Platform X saving your data. All of it. Your resume, including – everything you put in there for your potential new employer -, personal details, photo, where you went to college, where you live… Two weeks later, you receive some bad news; Unfortunately, you were not suitable for the position that you applied for, and the company wishes you “All the best in your future endeavours”. Luckily Platform X saved all your data! Makes it easy for you to apply for a new position at a different company. Also, because you agreed to the terms and conditions, Platform X is allowed to share your data with people that search for your name now. Great! Platform X can now also use all of it for commercial goals. This means that it is allowed for them to use your picture in campaigns, that they can send your information to companies that sell products you might be interested in, and they can publish about you whatever they want.

Your resume as well… Your most personal belongings are exposed, and all because you are responsible for ticking that box.

To conclude; the safety and security of your personal data is important and guaranteeing this for yourself is your own responsibility. You can choose what platforms you make use of, and to what terms and conditions you agree. On the 25th of May this year, a new law (called GDRP) will take action. This results in restrictions for Platform X, which absolutely has an impact. They must alter their terms and conditions and communicate “clearly” about their data gathering activities and give you insight in what data they have from you. It’s still up to you if you read the fine print.

Make it easy for yourself and work with a trustworthy party, whether you are a job seeker, or an employer.

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