PRIVACY VS. AUTHENTICITY: CAN THEY CO-EXIST ON THE WEB?

Ever have a nagging thought that is just dying to be dissected and discussed?  The issue that is bugging me today and preventing me from enjoying the uber-nice Sunday spring weather is the issue of Internet Privacy.  Lots of hacker attacks and phishing scams are becoming rampant on Twitter and Facebook and the traditional media is picking up on the stories and spreading the gospel warning.  Recent examples include the 3/4/10 article in USA Today, entitled: “How a Friendly Click Can Compromise a Company” and the Cincinnati Enquirer’s article, “Foursquare Networks into Cincinnati“, on GPS-based applications like Twitter & Foursquare which announce your current location, be it the local Thai restaurant or the local Urban Active. (Local Cincy social media “activists” Kevin Dugan, Daniel Johnson Jr. and Chris Beiting are mentioned in the article.) In fact, a corresponding site has been launched called PleaseRobMe.com that shows how broadcasting your whereabouts can make you a victim of crime.

I recently completed an interview session with a local public radio station, WNKU, in which we talked about Facebook and privacy issues (airing week of 3/8/10). I was also tapped by New Media Cincinnati Founder Daniel Johnson Jr. to be part of a 3/13 panel discussion on privacy use with social media sites.  I am billed as the moderate person on the panel, which is quite ironic given the way I grew up and the current business that I am in.  Can’t go into the details of my upbringing as this is obviously a public venue, but let’s just say the circumstances of my family’s career choice lent itself to the utmost of privacy and secrecy.  On the other hand, my business is Social Media Strategy Consulting in which I advise companies on how to integrate social media applications into their marketing mix.  Trust me, you can’t advise other companies successfully until you have created and lived publicly in the social media space yourself  in a very transparent and authentic way.  As testimony to my experience and Web 2.0 presence, I was recently tapped as a candidate for a Global Social Media Director position for a well-known CPG company (and no, it was not my former company Procter & Gamble!).

Given my family upbringing and my own personal tendency to be uber-private, I work hard at striking the right balance of privacy with my public business presence.  Ironically, the upcoming panel discussion will be recorded, live-streamed, twit-pic’d, live-tweeted and blogged about, thus thrusting my privacy issues into the public.  What a conundrum for me!  Will be interesting to see how I balance what I say from who I am.  In the end, there is a modicum of me that must be protected……or is there?

What is your take on privacy issues?


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2 thoughts on “PRIVACY VS. AUTHENTICITY: CAN THEY CO-EXIST ON THE WEB?”

  1. Thanks Daniel! The interview I did on Facebook Privacy for WNKU ran this morning. I think the timing is quite ironic given the upcoming program at New Media Cincinnati on Saturday. It should be a great discussion and I am looking forward to hearing more about how folks are using Foursquare. I see some wonderful marketing opps for businesses that buy into the concept!

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