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Can You Be Both Social and Secure?

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Can You Be Both Social and Secure?

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Disclaimer: I'm NOT a security expert; however, for the last month, I've been geeking out about the topic. Personally, the term "security" drums up the same level of excitement "social" did in 2006.

iStock_000024893774Small.jpgAs you may have seen in my post From Google to Gaga: The Top 9 Takeaways from SXSW 2014, the biggest breakthrough in tech this year wasn’t a new startup. It was the subject of privacy.  It started when Wikileaks founder Julian Assange Skped from an Ecuadorian embassy in London with more than 3,500 conference attendees.  At first, it seemed like a scene from a sci-fi movie with rhetoric from the latest conspiracy theorists. 

But then, Assange began sharing his point-of-view on the “military occupation of the Internet” and the ability for a few technology companies to capture massive amounts of information, creating a “surveillance nightmare.”  I left the session wanting to setup a Zuck vs. Assange debate and questioning the “share, share, share” mantra I’ve been preaching since I took my first social job in 2006. 

I continued to explore this topic. I went to sessions about Secret, a new app that allows users to “speak freely;” Darknet, a new kind of Internet where people can conceal their online behavior; and BitCoin, which enables anonymous payments using peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or bank.

I started having flashbacks of my childhood, when I spent hours in Prodigy chatrooms creating fictional characters. I began to worry that as a technology community were going backwards.

Then, I came to realization that it’s about contextual privacy.  In our world of “connected things,” sensors are prolific.  They collect data about everything from location to heart rate. While I can’t help but geek out about the opportunity to use these new technologies, I must now UNDERSTAND what, when, where and why my information is being collected, analyzed, and shared.  As a good corporate marketer, I’m also on the mission to balance organizational needs with consumer desires.

Fatemeh Khatibloo, senior analyst at Forrester, put it this way, “context enables control, choice, and respect by putting guardrails around: data access and collection; data use; and data sharing.”

Additionally, she noted that contextual privacy addresses five questions:

  • Temporal: When can I collect info about and when can I use it?
  • Spatial: Where can I use data about you?
  • Functional: How can I collect and use data about you?
  • Identity: What persona are you when I interact with you?
  • Social: With whom can I share information about you?

Before I grant another app access to my Facebook page, I want to answer the questions above about the service.

Finally, in one of the highest attended sessions, Edward Snowden, who is famous for disclosing thousands of classified documents that revealed the operational details of global surveillance programs run by key governments, called on the technology community to build products that protect the right to privacy through the use of strong encryption technology.

I'm excited and proud to work for a social technology company that truly values user security and data.  Millions of users across the private and public sectors depend on Jive every day to keep their information safe and drive mission-critical business processes. That’s why we’ve taken a no-compromises approach to security, privacy and availability that combines best-of-breed technology, a highly trained and experienced staff, adherence to the strictest standards in the industry, and the flexibility to meet diverse requirements.

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