—“There is no security without privacy”
April 2020. Globally, everyone who can is working from home. This is a break in history, we are never going back. Old standards of time in the office have been forcefully shattered.
In the news, people are concerned about increased cyber attacks and are right to do so. A recent article in Harvard Business Review gives good advice for what to do when working remotely. We are told to remind people that confidential information is still confidential even though they aren’t in the office and we rely on a belief that humans won’t make a mistake.
And that’s where we stop. Is this the moment when the world wakes up to realize we live in a Glass House? That for years, whether working in the office, at home or at Starbucks, we’ve been surveilled, tracked and catalogued and now that problem is exponentially worse? That our organizations continue to be breached not because our security is failing us but that our lack of privacy is. Even today, our vulnerabilities, our research, the next innovation, our weaknesses are visible. The walls that cyber security had created are transparent. The activities we take online, whether through our Starbucks app or through our trusted browser for work are immediately gathered and instantly analyzed. There is a $30b market driven just by how many links can be made between countless pieces of internet traffic. Your internet provider gets it and sells it, the plumbing of the internet gets it and sells it, and clearly social media gets it and sells it.
So… is all lost?
No, the internet is and can be a force for good. The internet can be the conduit for information that crosses socio-economic levels, it can be the tool that allows many to achieve and thrive. We need to take action to change the playing field:
– Encourage and reward new business structures. Beyond non-profits or charities, Public Benefit Corporations or B-Corps showcase the ability to achieve a social good while being profitable and embed and increased level of trust for customers.
– Innovate new revenue or success models. Allow consumers (or organizations) to decide what information to share. What is the minimum needed to have beneficial transactions and how can you revoke data access on demand, even after sharing? GDPR and CCPA are great vehicles for class action but the average American cannot enforce the “right to be forgotten” when hundreds of brokers receive our data daily. We can allow control and sharing of data and streamline the process to make it easy for general public. We can also allow consumers to receive compensation for the use of their data and evolving the “freemium” online apps.
– Create a new compact between employees and companies. Recognize the link between individual privacy and corporate security. Enable enterprise protections that make the walls of the Glass House opaque or at least provide some intelligent filters. This level of control is critical achieving Zero Trust.
If we do this, the freedom and explosion in productivity we will have discovered from remote working won’t die because of a pandemic of cyber attacks. It will thrive because we recognized the opportunity of this moment and took the steps to protect it.
Grey Market Labs is a Public Benefit Corporation founded with the social mission to protect life online for people and organizations. Our software and hardware products are creating a future with privacy-as-a-service, delivering proactive internet protection from the moment of access to countering exploitation of digital behavior and activity. Simply: we prevent data from being compromised, establish trust between users and protect our customers work, online.
Contact us to see how we can work together.