Well, while the entire week was almost fully consumed with whether or not the Liberals did the right thing in not only welcoming, but touting, MP Eve Adams' arrival into the fold of their party, I'm not sure there was a privacy issue there. Well, perhaps the interest in her personal life does have a bit of a privacy angle to it, but we're not going to go there. Besides, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and everyone deserves to have a valentine, right?
I'd rather focus on the other big story: Smart TVs! It was nice to see former Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian out in the media, sharing her views on this topic. It's one—the Internet of Things, as we call it—that I expect will get more attention as we become more aware of what our modern devices can actually do for us and as the companies that make them try to get privacy right in delivering that service.
Part of this is getting the transparency language down pat, and I realize it's not always easy. How does a company explain enough so that people understand what's going on without making them freak out or their eyes glaze over?
I think there's a place for being able to tell people what's going on and gaining their trust. Heck, I'm a privacy guy, but I love the idea of living in what is evolving into a Smart Home, with my wearable computing devices on.
So that's the challenge I put out. You can care about your privacy and reap the benefits of this stuff. To the privacy folks who are guiding these companies: Pay attention and try to get this part right, and test your messaging. And to the consumers out there: Keep investing in these cool new products, but understand what you're trading. And when companies aren’t meeting your privacy expectations, tell them so they have a chance to adjust and earn your business.
Hope you have yourselves a great weekend and a fun Valentine’s. Enjoy the chocolate, the flowers and the other fun stuff I can't write about here, because it's private.
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