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Security or Spying? Whistleblowing or Treachery? Private or Public? | LinkedIn

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August 28, 2013

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Where do we draw the lines these days?

It seems reasonable to give up some liberty to protect us from terrorists. Kind of a life or death choice; seems easy. But when do the measures taken for security become spying? What happens when we elect new officials? What happens when the majority party changes? What happens when the definitions that seem so clear become blurred?

The answers aren’t simple. Nor are they black and white. The only truth is that there is lots of data up for grabs.

Now, take away the life/death factor in this equation (a big qualifier, I know) and there are lots of people collecting data every time we go online. What’s more, as Pogo said, the enemy is us — we’re often giving data away mindlessly, bartering data for better “experiences,” benefits, bonuses, or even for the “privilege” of seeing the next screen.

And then the line blurs more. People collect data, the patterns and habits of your daily life, then sell it and profit. In fact, they sell access to you and they keep all the money. Doesn’t sound quite fair, does it? Worse, when you go online, you’re never sure who is using your data and you’re equally in the dark about who is collecting data on the next bit of your journey.

Which brings us full circle. We give away data. Others collect it. Some sell it. Bottom line: We really have no clue.

However, let’s be clear. The data points in and of themselves don’t mean much. In fact, most of the data collected is unusable and doesn’t really say as much about you as those selling it would have us believe. Lester Wunderman often says that all consumers would sleep better if they knew just how little of their data actually meant something.

At the end of the day, we give up something to get something — that’s a simple value exchange, and fair. I’m ready to give up a certain amount of my personal data if it will save my life. I’m ready to give up some if it will get me better prices. I’m ready to give up some if it will increase my knowledge base. But what’s the price we’re willing to pay? What kind of integrity should we demand so that data — and its interpretation — means something that gives us all value?

Featured on:Big Ideas & Innovation

Posted by:David Sable

via Security or Spying? Whistleblowing or Treachery? Private or Public? | LinkedIn.


Born in 1964, business owner, from Woodbridge, VA, owns ExcitingAds! Inc. ( and blog ( He was born in Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan. His elementary school was ST. Michael's Convent High School, Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan. Graduated high school from ST. Bonaventure's Convent High School, Hyderabad, Sind, Pakistan. His pre-med college was S. A. L. Govt. College, Mirpurkas, Sind, Pakistan. Graduated from Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Sind, Pakistan in 1990. Earned equivalency certification from Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, Philadelphia, PA in 1994.

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