On Blood Diamonds and Grazing Lands

Nov 01, 2010 - Krux Digital - 0
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The Journal’s latest article regarding the active collection and black market sale of Facebook user IDs is pretty alarming. (The companies in question have not been named. And kudos to Facebook for their swift response.)

It’s not accidental data leakage this time, nor is it incidental data collection. It simply appears to be the product of a well-organized business plan very effectively executed.

Facebook Inc. said that a data broker has been paying application developers for identifying user information, and that it had placed some developers on a six-month suspension from its site because of the practice.

Consumers’ digital signatures will emerge as the most important media asset of the coming decade. And how they are used in enhancing all manner of content, commerce, and advertising experiences will transform the media landscape.

If you’re a digital media insider, you have internalized this and are surely energized by all of the possibilities. And you’re also probably a little jaded – or at the least a little numb – when it comes to the near-constant series of revelations made across the industry regarding publisher data piracy and consumer data privacy.

It’s understandable. But as an industry, we must not fall victim to the tragedy of the commons. There are near term benefits to doing nothing. There are also long term benefits to doing something right, right now. On most days, I’m certain the industry wants the latter of those two.

We all know there’s a problem. And we all know that it’s one that only the industry can address collectively. And address it we will, either of our own accord at the time of our choosing, or sometime down the road a bit with the active participation of the regulators.

There are folks doing fantastic work on our behalf, in DC and elsewhere, shepherding the industry, educating legislators and regulators, and delivering meaningful data protection tools to consumers. And their efforts and investments are appreciated. But it’s going to take something from all of us.

Open question for the day: What are you doing – in big ways or small, individually or via your organization – to change industry data landscape for the better? There has to be something. If not, now is the time to work it into that 2011 plan.

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