Recently, while watching
    the 2010 CNBC documentary,
    "The Facebook
    Obsession,"
    on my Netflix
    account, I was struck
    again by the public's view
    of their perceived privacy
    on the Internet and social
    media platforms, like Facebook. This particular documentary detailed the
    story of Dr. June Talvitie-Siple, a former Massachusetts school administrator,
    and her subsequent firing after she posted negative comments about
    her school's students and parents on her Facebook page. This story certainly
    is not new. Most recently, Marine Corps Sergeant Gary Stein received
    an other-than-honorable discharge after criticizing his commander-in-chief,
    President Barack Obama, on his Facebook page. Whether through
    ignorance of privacy policies or belief in freedom of speech, these incidents,
    including recent stories of employers requesting private Facebook
    logins during the interview process, show there is ambiguity today regarding
    our privacy rights. In fact, a survey released in April by Siegel+Gale, a
    global strategic branding firm, found that "users have little understanding
    of how Facebook and Google track and store user information and activity,
    and how information is shared and with whom."


    This heated debate over privacy concerns and the goldmine that
    exists within our customers' data certainly does not have an evil villain;
    well, not a single one that is. Facebook has been known to be
    nonchalant regarding criticisms over their privacy policies; Google
    moved forward in its roll-out of its revamped privacy policy, despite
    European Union privacy regulators' concern over potential violations
    of its data protection laws; some Washington politicians accuse and
    lay the blame over privacy concerns at the door of Silicone Valley;
    and now, back for round two, the US House of Representatives in
    April passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act
    (CISPA), which allows the government and corporations to easily
    exchange confidential customer records and communications. No
    matter the source of our privacy headaches,
    the fact remains it is a concern. According
    to a new survey from Consumer Reports,
    71% of respondents reported they are "very
    concerned"
    about companies that sell their
    information unbeknownst to users.


    As businesses, we all recognize the power
    and return on investment that our customers'
    data holds. The way we collect, store,
    analyze and use this data often determines
    our success and longevity as an enterprise.
    Yet, so many of us, myself included, believe
    the ownership of this very data we value is
    often considered an unalienable right as a
    human being. Though privacy is not listed in
    our unalienable rights in the Declaration of
    Independence
    , so many believe it is implied
    and that we alone, as humans, have a right
    to own our personal data no matter what services
    we may use. The fragile veil between
    us, the business, and our customer is rapidly
    disappearing. Is there a line between private
    and public anymore? Some tech companies
    would argue, "No." I'm sure consumers
    would have a different opinion.
    As our culture evolves its communication
    behaviors and morays on privacy, companies
    are left to wonder, "How much is too
    much?


    In this issue, DOCUMENT looks to
    discover the varied concerns, technologies
    and strategies that are impacting our global
    communications.


    Until next time,