Wednesday, December 05, 2007
To a privacy advocate, this is deeply intrusive into citizen's lives. To a student, it is a protection while walking late at night. The difference is the control that the student has over the GPS phone. The individual can choose to turn it on or not. Control is the central issue of privacy and not intrusive technology. It is a challenge for public relations going forward because privacy advocates won't stop their attacks on developing technology -- nor should they. They remind us that technology can be misused as easily as it is used properly for commercial and other purposes. That is why, for example, that Facebook stumbled so badly, and advertisers are abandoning its Beacon platform. Facebook chose to use an opt-out strategy to benefit its advertisers rather than an opt-in option to benefit its users. As a result, it lost both. Privacy starts with respect for the consumer's power of choice. We shouldn't forget that.