In my years covering cybersecurity, there’s one variation of the same lie that floats above the rest. “We take your privacy and security seriously.”
You might have heard the phrase here and there. It’s a common trope used by companies in the wake of a data breach — either in a “mea culpa” email to their customers or a statement on their website to tell you that they care about your data, even though in the next sentence they all too often admit to misusing or losing it.
The truth is, most companies don’t care about the privacy or security of your data. They care about having to explain to their customers that their data was stolen.
I’ve never understood exactly what it means when a company says it values my privacy. If that were the case, data hungry companies like Google and Facebook, which sell data about you to advertisers, wouldn’t even exist.
I was curious how often this go-to one liner was used. I scraped every reported notification to the California attorney general, a requirement under state law in the event of a breach or security lapse, stitched them together, and converted it into machine-readable text.
About one-third of all 285 data breach notifications had some variation of the line.
This article originally appeared on techcrunch.com. To read the full article, click here.
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