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Privacy is the new killer app

Matt Weinberger | Nov. 17, 2014
You can't just be good. You have to be secure.

The big guys take the hint
Meanwhile, the big technology companies aren't sitting idle. While, again, no single startup even slightly poses a threat, the Ello phenomenon and the spotlight on Anonabox at least proved user unrest around privacy matters. 

Facebook, in response to all of this, has hugely shortened and jazzed up its user data policy statements, making it something a real live person might actually read. It doesn't change the fact that they're selling data to advertisers, but at least it removes an element of paranoia and works to restore some confidence. Not to mention that it gives Facebook better leverage when trying to convince its users that stuff like location services fall closer to "cool" than "creepy."

Likewise, Apple got a much-needed vote of confidence from the Electronic Frontier Foundation in a report that its proprietary iMessage and FaceTime messaging tools were the most secure and strongly encrypted solutions of their kind, which helped ease concerns in the wake of iCloud hacks and the so-called Fappening. 

The constant stings from apps and services that rightfully claim to be better than the Silicon Valley establishment about privacy and security may not kill them, but it keeps them from resting on their laurels. As Forrester says, expect 2015 to be the year when privacy becomes a competitive differentiator, as users expect better control over their data and a more public commitment to keeping it safe and the process it gets used transparent. 

In other words: It's no longer enough to be good. You have to be secure, too. 


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