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January 14, 2019

It was a thrill to see the evolution and enhancements of services like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit and the like at CES 2019 this week in Las Vegas. As a communications professional who does a lot of work in the cybersecurity sector, it also really got me thinking about privacy concerns with so many cool, free services available to consumers.

As a society, have we finally come to grips with the fact that the tradeoff for being able to use these amazing free technology services is really the cost of giving up some of our personal information in return? If so, where do we draw the line between what’s acceptable to share with companies, and what is off limits?

Personally, as a cyber PR professional, I’m in the unique position of getting to think about these types of privacy topics each and every day. I’ve come to terms with the fact that providing certain types of personal information is the new technology currency of our day, and I’m fundamentally ok with it as long as this information is being anonymized, is focused on behavior patterns rather than personally identifiable information and is not putting me in harm’s way of bad actors or bad intentions.

Serve me an ad for a great product I’m interested in because I’ve demonstrated a certain behavior pattern online, and I’m all ears. Sell my social security number, home address, phone number or political allegiance to a third-party company and we’ve got a major problem on our hands. I’m a techie and I love using these services. I’m willing to make the right deal.

I’m also wondering if I’ve become so close to modern-day privacy issues that I’m starting to think differently than the rest of the world. I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you feel is acceptable tech currency from a privacy standpoint, and what is not. Feel free to email me your thoughts at jeff.seedman@finnpartners.com.

 

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