There is a message from John Podesta, who is aide and counselor to the President, in a short video where he states that he is the Chair of the "Big Data and Privacy Working Group" at the White House.
Here are the two big questions that are being asked by the White House:
1) Which technologies or use of data is most transforming in your day-to-day life?
2) Which technologies or use of data gives you pause?
(Oddly, Mr. Podesta asks both questions but the survey doesn't. Let them know what gives you pause.)
I'll simply say - again - that I believe over the next 10 years, the new coin of the realm in our country, for both government and business, will be personal data. (My other coin of the realm over the next 20+years? Water, not oil.)
We, the people, should be directing where this line is, not Bill Gates or Arne Duncan (for public school children) and not unilateral decisions by the White House.
Yes, the door has opened ever wider - both by our own hands as citizens as well as by government/business push - but that does NOT mean that privacy doesn't exist or is going away.
You and I may have differing ideas about privacy and certainly our children do.
But every - single - person has a privacy line.
I like to use the example of Justice Potter Stewart when he was considering a pornography case that had come before the Supreme Court. He was asked what his definition was of pornography.
He said he couldn't define it but "I know it when I see it." We all know our own privacy line "when we see it."
Child identity theft is one of the fastest growing types of identity theft in the country. Most people get their children a Social Security number as babies in order to access many government services. You may not know - for years - that your child's identity has been compromised.
Upload a lot of data - data that may not even be PII (personally identifiable data) - that can be linked together and you have a hacker's dream.
In 2012, a national poll conducted by Consumer Reports found these results:
- 71 percent of the 1,017 adults polled said they were very concerned that online firms are selling or sharing their personal data without their permission;
- the survey found almost as much concern among mobile-phone users, with 65 percent saying they worry that apps on their smartphones could access their address books, photos, and other personal information without their permission;
- A majority of those polled also said they worry that companies are holding on to data about them longer than is needed;
- that personal data collected while online could be used by employers or loan providers;
- and that online firms are collecting data about children.
More on this to come.