Internet Privacy


Recently, the CEO of APPLE, Tim Cook gave a speech outlining his opinion on internet privacy. He also took aim at rivals like Google, Facebook and others for collecting user data without users actually understanding how this data is being used.


Here's a small excerpt of what Cook said “I’m speaking to you from Silicon Valley, where some of the most prominent and successful companies have built their businesses by lulling their customers into complacency about their personal information,” said Cook. “They’re gobbling up everything they can learn about you and trying to monetize it. We think that’s wrong. And it’s not the kind of company that Apple wants to be.”


“We don’t think you should ever have to trade it (your personal information) for a service you think is free but actually comes at a very high cost. This is especially true now that we’re storing data about our health, our finances and our homes on our devices,”. Seems that he really hit the nail on the head and it got me thinking about how we share information or even how accurate information on personal and business websites for example, actually is. If silicon valley is collecting information that is incorrect, for example, what can be the outcome and result of that?

If we switched roles for one minute and instead of looking at how our information is used, we considered how accurate the information actually is in the first place, it may lead some interesting revelations.


Cook also said, Quote-“We believe the customer should be in control of their own information. You might like these so-called free services, but we don’t think they’re worth having your email, your search history and now even your family photos data mined and sold off for advertising purpose. And we think some day, customers will see this for what it is.”


What it is may just be the next revolution in customers being able to claim back from companies that have used there private information, breached internet privacy and monetized it in some way, without them being made aware of it. 


On-line Tracking is not only here to stay, it’s getting more pervasive and sophisticated and in addition, Facebook and Google are becoming more savvy about correlating individuals’ activities on multiple devices, getting a single view of a person’s on-line behaviour across their smartphone, laptop and any other devices.


And what is the takeaway from all this? I think a good start would be to pose the question " Could Monitoring the Monetizes of Silicon Valley be used to put consumers back in control? ". That's a question that many of us at Exai had after reading this article.


As far as what this subject has to do with a website CMS like Exai, well one benefit to using the website builder is the ability to set permissions for each website and provide users with access on a need to do basis. This feature comes in use when you want your employees or any outsourced service provider to make changes on the site within a fixed permission parameter.In a sense securing your online information to the people you trust most.


Permissions can be set across a whole range of parameters from being able to change the design of the site to managing content and SEO. 


Definitely an interesting thread and I like the fact that Cook put alot of the ideas about privacy :on-the-table" for discussion.