There’s a new pain

There’s a new pain.

The public is redefining “privacy” to include new powers. Rights to access personal data. Scope widened to include data co-created with other people and observed data. FrustrationRights to delete, destroy, redact. Granular control over sharing. Protection from casual inspection by employers, family, and governments. Rights to safe and highly private default policies and behavior. Rights to due process and humane treatment. And we demand these whether the data lives in our homes, on our mobiles or on some company’s servers.

These heightened expectations are ahead of corporate practices, government policy, established law, and software design conventions by years. In some cases by decades.

The gap between raised expectations of what’s right and how businesses and civic institutions deal with them makes people unhappy. Sometimes frustrated. Often angry.

This gap is useful. Pain calls for relief, so policy wonks, business suits, and tech geeks have incentives to innovate.

We’re seeing progress. Startups like those in PDEC’s Startup Circle, projects like those demoing at Thursday night’s Personal Cloud Meetup in San Francisco, and teams doing enterprise pilots are coming at these problems from eery angle. They’re all motivated to close the gap.

We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.”
Kenji Miyazawa

Microsoft’s Marc Davis, PDEC’s own Kaliya “Identity Woman” Hamlin and others contributed to World Economic Forum‘s latest report, Unlocking the Value of Personal Data: From Collection to Usage. It’s worth the solid 20 minute reading time dive into how people psychologically value their data, how their behavior is affected by institutional privacy communications and offers, and economic drivers for treating personal data in a socially responsible way.

For a quicker take, see the New York Times’s Big Data and a Renewed Debate Over Privacy from last week.

photo: frustration cc-by-sa Cubmundo.

About Phil Wolff

Phil Wolff is strategy director of PDEC, the Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium, a Small Data NGO. Wolff is a director of the DataPortability Project and co-author of the project's model Portability Policy. He's had management, technology, and marketing roles at Adecco SA, LSI Logic, Bechtel National, Wang Laboratories, Compaq Computer, the City of Long Beach, the State of California, and the U.S. Navy Supply Systems Command. On LinkedIn, ORCID 0000-0002-7815-4750, Quora top 250 of 2012. He holds the PDQ Bach Inauthentic Identity Fellowship at the University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople. Phil lives in Adams Point, Oakland, California.

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