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Q&A: Cisco privacy chief Dennedy says good privacy practices can improve bottom line

By Byron V. Acohido

When Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg infamously declared that privacy “is no longer a social norm” in 2010, he was merely parroting a corporate imperative that Google had long since established.

That same year, then-Google CEO Eric Schmidt publicly admitted that Google’s privacy policy was to “get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.” Indeed, the privacy of any consumer who spends any time on the Internet is owned several times over by the likes of Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Twitter, LinkedIn and other media companies and cloud service providers.

Canada and Europe require corporations to give individuals the clear choice to “opt in” to any services that collect behavioral data useful for profiling an individual. But in …more

Q&A: Cisco privacy chief Michelle Dennedy argues privacy can, and should, be ethically leveraged

By Byron V. Acohido

It’s truly amazing that we need pay no subscription fee to use Web mail or Web search, nor to participate on Facebook or Twitter or partake of countless other social media websites and Web apps.

But make no mistake, these empowering online services are not truly free.

Related: California’s privacy law returns control of personal data to individuals

The price you pay is your personal privacy. Every move you make online is routinely logged, stored and data-mined by companies aggressively seeking to profit from profiling individual Web users.

Meanwhile, the definition of personal privacy—namely, the right to be left alone that was shaped and widely honored before the arrival of the Internet—has been dismantled in our Internet-centric society.
Last Watchdog sat down with Michelle Dennedy, chief privacy officer at …more

MY TAKE: Here’s why the Internet Society’s new Privacy Code of Conduct deserves wide adoption

By Byron V. Acohido

When Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg infamously declared that privacy “is no longer a social norm” in 2010, he was merely parroting a corporate imperative that Google had long since established. That same year, then-Google CEO Eric Schmidt publicly admitted that Google’s privacy policy was to “get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.”

Related: Mark Zuckerberg’s intolerable business model.

We now know, of course, they weren’t kidding. Facebook’s pivotal role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal and Google getting fined $57 million last week by the French for violating Europe’s privacy rules are just two of myriad examples demonstrating how the American tech titans live by those credos.

But what if companies chose to respect an individual’s right to privacy, especially when he or she goes online? What if consumers could use search engines, patronize social media, peruse news and entertainment sites and use other internet-enabled services without abdicating all of their rights? What if companies stopped treating consumers as wellsprings of behavioral data – data to be voraciously mined and then sold to the highest bidder?

With Jan. 28 earmarked as Data Privacy Day —  an annual international privacy awareness campaign — these are reasonable questions to ask. These are ponderings that have been debated by captains of industry, government regulators, and consumer advocates in Europe and North America for the past decade and a half. …more

GUEST ESSAY: The Facebook factor: Zuckerberg’s mea culpa reveals intolerable privacy practices

By Elizabeth A. Rogers, Adrienne S. Erhardt and Ryan T. Sulkin

In the words of the Nobel Prize writer Bob Dylan, “The times, they are a-changin.’” Revelations in the press about Facebook’s current privacy problems, and a new comprehensive European Union privacy framework that impacts American businesses, may be changing the climate towards more data privacy regulations by United States lawmakers.

As technology and uses for data surge ahead at breakneck speed, however, the testimony of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg seemed to highlight both the public’s and lawmakers’ limited understanding of the impact that dizzying advancement has on individual privacy and on our society at-large.

Related article: Good privacy practices can improve bottom line

Against these rapidly changing times, the challenge now is for …more