Security, Cowardly New World | Privacy, Brave New World
What kind of world have we become? To see Sony, theater owners and distributors initially cower over release of "The Interview," in the face of a cyberterrorist threat was—and is—unnerving. Clearly, businesses feared that Sony's victimhood would be exported to others. Yes, the movie eventually was released online and in limited theaters, but the initial fear expressed was disconcerting, to say the least.
This incident shows how incapable company leaders must feel they are to thwart cyberattacks. Is data anywhere ever really secure in the face of determined malfeasance? I doubt most of the cinema owners were genuinely worried that theatergoers would be physically at risk of terrorism. Rather, it's the data—proprietary, internal, sensitive, privileged, confidential and otherwise private—being unscrupulously stolen and, once out of the bottle, splayed across gossip pages by "news" media as if they scooped the story. Intellectual property, too, was compromised. Hollywood, actors and all, seemed frightened.
As cybersecurity—or lack of such security—plays out on the international stage, privacy—and Americans' attitudes about it—is taking a more mature, nuanced posture.
A new Pew Research Center survey on privacy in found that many opinion leaders now realize that our online selves are public, social sharing is currency for being known (online), even if views are mixed over whether or not a privacy rights infrastructure will emerge during the next decade. Consumers will offer personal details in exchange for convenience quite readily.
As The Los Angeles Times reported, "'Lack of concern about privacy stems from complacency because most people's life experiences teach them that revealing their private information allows commercial (and public) organizations to make their lives easier (by targeting their needs), whereas the detrimental cases tend to be very serious but relatively rare,' Bob Briscoe, chief researcher in networking and infrastructure for British Telecom, wrote in his response."