The title of the blogpost may lead you to think that I am going to compare private enterprises vs. public enterprises. Or from a digital standpoint: private network vs. social network. From a proprietary standpoint: private and confidential information vs. open source content. From a data standpoint: private cloud vs. public cloud. From a personal identity standpoint: privacy vs. publicity!
We should not ask the age of a female and salary of a male was the saying in the past. But things are changing in the digital age where both are at par. And moreover, few things are really private now.
It is essential to be part of a network to share information, to learn from others experiences, to stay connected and be up to date about what is happening around. Think for a while: Are the people who were initially a part of your network still required to be part of the network? Especially when it comes to a private network with high turnaround and people moving between projects, roles and careers, is the “private” information being shared still private?
We love to share our feelings, check-in details, pictures on social network as some people say there is nothing to hide or that is what social media is meant for. In fact, the more social we become the more we will be targeted with better product and service offerings by the digital giants who are always listening. But for choice and convenience are we giving up control over our information. The answer lies in having a control over our personal data – what we consent to, who we give our consent to and what information we want to share.
In certain cases, the data is used for research purposes, to come up with a point of view and arrive at trends so that users of this information can make a better decision. All good intentions! But in most cases the information is used for monetary benefits by taking advantage and misusing genuine customer consent.
Privacy is your right to control your personal information such that you can decide how much others should know about your personal information. It is something very fundamental to trust. Private and sensitive information may act as a competitive advantage for companies to differentiate themselves. But for individuals, information such as their health condition, for example, they may not want to reveal to anyone other than their doctors and near and dear ones. Being open about your condition with your doctor is good to get the required assistance but that information seldom needs to change hands any further. Even this data is being bought and sold openly in this digital age to generate revenues because of its sheer value which is an unintended consequence of further information exchange.
Privacy and data breach is considered to be a standard business practice to offer better service to customers at lower costs and not something which should needs to be prevented. Overlaid with digital technologies like cloud, mobility, analytics, social, we continue to aid the proliferation of more and more information.
Protection of privacy lies with each entity. Business entities need to understand whose data they are trying to monetize and what the right way to use is. Individuals need to be careful and choose what to share, what not to share and have control over their personal assets i.e. information in this case!