Privacy. It’s dead. Get over it! It’s about Trust and User Control

“Privacy is dead, deal with it.”– Scott McNealy, CEO Sun Microsystems

If consumers want and expect services and applications for free they are going to have to give up something in return. This something is the data showing how they use the services and applications (this data is anonymized btw). Whilst it has the advantage of providing a better user experience targeting more relevant services and content it does carry the risk of confusion and abuse.

Privacy in return for free services, particularly on mobile is over. Governments and regulators are trying to keep up with the pace of technology and find ways to remain in control whilst enabling their economies to remain competitive.

There is general consensus that governments should not regulate in this area. They are too much aligned with legacy industries with legacy laws put in place during times before the digital age. SOPA, PIPA and ACTA are both examples of what happens when governments get involved.

Governance is still is a concern and a ”creative commons” type approach seems to be bubbling up. On a panel Exicon and Coca Cola were proposing such an approach.

To add a bit of flavor check out this Ted-X presentation on the “$8-Billion iPod” from Rob Reid

The users want to be able to control their privacy online. Companies need to provide their users with the tools to manage their privacy and control the settings. Consumers also expect to be told what rights they are handing over, when using services and applications. They expect to trust the corporations with their data and this is more “ethical” than legal. It’s not easy for corporations to navigate this, but it is a process.

If you don’t want to give away your data, you can pay for premium services!