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Privacy 101- The Information Exposure Explosion

May 05 2010

"Despite the continuing expansion or even explosion of information, there will forever be limits beyond which the devices of science cannot lead a man."

-Dr. June Singer


privacy101No matter what business you are in right now, there is no avoiding the fact that timely and accurate information is a prime commodity. As social networking is now a business imperative in the branding, sales and marketing aspects of your company, that information includes both facts and contacts that are interested in what you have to offer.

Here are a couple of varieties of data and their stated values by those who deal in information. A Multiple Listing Service-provided real estate listing, according to Ben Graboske of First American Core Logic as stated at the Houston Association of REALTORS®Houston Association of REALTORS® Real Estate Information Symposium in March 2010, can range in value from $1 for a brief one to $10 for an in-depth one.

If your business is working the social networking side of marketing and branding, it was recently calculated that the value of someone who 'likes' you on Facebookvalue of someone who 'likes' you on Facebook could be around $3.60.

Why is this information so valuable right now? Because there is so much data out on the Internet that is of suspicious origins with no guarantee of accuracy, that specifically verified facts from a reputable source are precious. It is worthwhile to protect your intellectual property from being stolen. Additionally, the information that we freely give via our social networking profiles used to be nuggets that marketers of the last century would spend countless hours and dollars gathering compiling.

The personal information we volunteer is morphing the definition of privacy for the next phase of technology. This new chapter is not so much about keeping things concealed (remember, if you want to maintain something as private, don’t post it on the Internet- once it is on the web, it is publicly available) as much as it’s about taking control of who gets to see what you post. In the 1960s and 1970s American artist Andy Warhol said, "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” People didn’t quite know how that would happen. Now, in an era of reality TV and YouTube, it appears that his prediction has come true.

The ever shifting terrain of privacy settings and cross-linking affinities on social networking websites is just another reason your Privacy Gurus® say to stay aware and alert. And, perhaps in the near future, we can next look forward to 15 minutes of privacy.

Darity Wesley is CEO and Legal Counsel for Privacy Solutions, Inc. a San Diego based consulting firm. She is also an RE Technology Content Contributor, to learn more about Darity and to see an archive of her content, click here.