If we are connected on LinkedIn, you will have noticed that I posted my guest column that was published in the Financial Post on Thursday. Here’s a link to the newspaper site.
Basically, the theme is that we’re at a crossroads where people are genuinely losing trust in the new economy. Just look at Facebook’s stock market price today as compared to a month ago. People are waking up to the realization that their personal information is valuable and the trust in those that use it has been shaken.
We’re seeing it very clearly in Canada this week because (unlike what I wrote last week) Canadian politicians have taken notice, and they are conducting very high-profile hearings this week and next. On Tuesday, Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien appeared and used the opportunity to make a number of points. The two that stood out for me are: 1.) He wants the power to levy administrative fines; and 2.) Canadians deserve privacy protections when political parties are manipulating our data. On this second point, I note that Colin Bennett, who has done great research in this area, will be appearing before the same parliamentary committee next week. I suspect he will make some pretty compelling arguments in support of the commissioner’s position.
At around the same time my piece in the Financial Post got published, Facebook executives were also appearing before Parliament. It’s more than just ironic that Facebook is quoted as having said, “What is alleged to have occurred is a huge breach of trust to our users, and for that we are sorry.”
The admission by the tech giant that it has lost the trust of those it needs to make money should, you would think, result in meaningful and positive changes. Changes implemented by the company itself, the entire industry, and the people who are elected to pass laws to ensure we can all trust the new world we live in.
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