There has been a lot of talk about data leaks and data privacy lately, not naming any names. The articles and blog entries on this topic are filled with outrage and spoken with dropped jaws. I have to admit that the only shock I experience on this subject is at how shocked people are. As divisive as these issues are, fundamental questions remain. How much privacy should be expected? How many times a week are you prompted to accept a long block of terms and conditions in order to access online services? How many times do you read them? Isn’t that the scary part?
The mobile revolution has brought us into the Frenetic Age. Hear two bars of a song you like? Buy it on iTunes. Order a tasty looking burrito? Instagram it. Overcome by wit? Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr… Digitizing our social lives — and our lives in general — leaves a trail of data. Eric Schmidt claims that we now create as much information every two days as we did up until 2003. “If you aren’t paying for the product, you are the product” goes the current mantra. Should we accept this as easily as we accept those terms and conditions?
In this frenetic age, how can we protect our privacy? I believe data protection and access control will become increasingly vital topics for all of us. Being a responsible company that protects its consumers’ privacy will become a competitive advantage. Providing safe harbour for third-party data will provide similar opportunities for companies in the next decade, as collecting private data did for social networks in the last decade. At Layer 7, we feel that our Data Lens solution offers a good starting point for companies who want to expose their data, their partners’ data and their customers’ data in an acceptable way.