The Privacy Oxymoron – How do I increase My Privacy AND still get a great online experience





Everyday now there is more and more discussion on Privacy. On the one hand you have the Privacy advocates who want nothing more than complete control over every aspect of their Privacy, and then on the other hand you have the Govt. and online content providers who want even more detailed information on you. 

It’s becoming like a Seinfeld episode – “something’s got to give Jerry!”.

But what? Privacy is really an oxymoron unto itself. If you de-identify data enough it has no value in which case the experience isn’t going to be that great because Web sites are built around figuring out who you are.

Two articles appeared on the Web today:

  1. How ‘Do Not Track’ Could Kill The Internet Startup Economy
  2. Developer Builds Privacy-enhancing Web Browser for Apple Devices

Also I’m starting to see Do Not Track show up in public company filings – saying that it could effect earnings. Let’s face it the Web has been built on the premise that in exchange for “free” I get to use your information. So it could be a huge drain on resources if this standard gets implemented. And now we’re also seeing new browsers pop-up (no pun intended) that basically anonymize your tracks on the Internet, but slows down your experience.

What continues to perplex me is that no one is turning this problem “on it’s head” and looking at it from a different perspective. It’s an opportunity vs a problem.

Lets face it nobody is going to suddenly overturn the last 10 years on the Internet. We’re all addicted to free and we basically turn a blind eye to Web sites using my private data. However with Mobile showing up to the party things are beginning to change. Mobile is deemed “really personal” and so we want to be sure that nobody is tracking us while we walk around. 

So can we really ever have our “cake and eat it to?” 

Well yes – I think we can. I wrote about how in a previous blog (A Contextual Approach to Online Privacy – It’s all about Me) but it bears repeating. What’s going to be needed is a way to placate both “stakeholders” – Me the consumer and You the content provider.

What I want is:

  • Convenience
  • Privacy
  • Control

What the Content Provider wants is:

  • Control
  • Commerce ($$$)

What we have to do is “align” those two sides and give them away to resolve the differences – when we align those sides you’ll see the real power of the Internet realized for the first time. 

So instead of trying to create more complexity, instead look for more simplicity. Alignment vs disorder. And as usual the answer will be staring us in the face.


Posted in: #Choice, #mobile, #privacy, BYOD, Choice, Identity, Performance, Personalization, Privacy

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