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February 19, 2015
Insider Extra: The Wire-Free PC

February 17, 2015
Whither Apple?

February 12, 2015
Insider Extra: The Real IOT Opportunity? Industry

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Business Models For The Internet of Things (IOT)

February 5, 2015
Insider Extra: Is "Mobile Only" The Future?

February 3, 2015
Sexiest New Devices? PCs...

January 29, 2015
Insider Extra: iPhone Next

January 27, 2015
How Will Windows 10 Impact PCs and Tablets?

January 22, 2015
Insider Extra: Hands-On (or Heads-on) With HoloLens

January 20, 2015
Whither Windows 10?

January 15, 2015
Insider Extra: Mobile Security: The Key to a Successful BYOD Implementation

January 13, 2015
Smart Home Situation Likely To Get Worse Before It Gets Better

January 6, 2015
More Tech Predictions for 2015

December 30, 2014
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TECHnalysis Research Blog

February 24, 2015
Paying for Digital Privacy

By Bob O'Donnell

One of the many unfortunate fallouts from all the recent hacking scandals is the harsh realization that privacy in the age of the Internet is now essentially gone. Some may argue that it was never there in the first place, but regardless, it’s clear today that things you do online—whether in e-mail, instant messaging, social media or web browsing—are but a few clicks away from being exposed for all the world to see.

Scary thought, isn’t it?

At the same time, we all fundamentally know that there is a very real need for privacy—some things should only be shared with their intended audience. So, how do we overcome this rather critical dilemma?

Unfortunately, it’s becoming clear to me that digital privacy is quickly evolving from what should be a right to something that looks more like a privilege—a privilege that I think we’re going to end up paying for. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not endorsing the concept—but at this point, I’m afraid it’s inevitable.

Just as some people choose to spend extra money to live in the supposed safety of gated communities in the real/material world, so too will we see some people willing to pay to take refuge within digitally gated communities in the virtual world. We’ve already seen the introduction of services that attempt to repair the online reputations of individuals, but I think this is only the tip of the iceberg. I fully expect to see companies create services that essentially act as digital bodyguards as you make your way around the Internet.

Ironically, in order to do that, they’re probably going to have to follow everything you do online even more closely than even our current nightmare scenarios of digital identity theft might lead us to dream up. The difference, of course, will be all about trust. A truly discrete and trusted digital protector could, in theory at least, enable the kind of protection I’m describing. But the level of trust necessary to pull this off is far beyond anything I think we’ve ever seen in the digital world, and it’s not immediately clear to me who could provide it…. An eager startup? Not likely. A major OS or online platform provider? Maybe.

Regardless, the introduction and evolution of a digital privacy service is bound to raise a number of very important, very fundamental questions. Who can have access to this? Who should have access to it? For the naively optimistic, why is it even necessary?

People are going to (and should) expect some degree of privacy in their lives, and as more of their lives move online, those expectations are bound to move online with them. The challenges of hacking and digital privacy invasions are not going away and, unfortunately, are likely to get much worse. This makes the need for digital privacy services even more important. There are still big questions that need to be discussed, however, and new policies will likely need to be implemented to help address what I think will be one of the biggest challenges of our era.

Here's a link to the original column: https://techpinions.com/paying-for-digital-privacy/38827

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