By Robert Barker, Infoglide Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer
NOTE: It’s a hot summer in Texas and we’re going to take some time off. We’ll start blogging again after Labor Day!
Ivan Chong of Informatica made an interesting point in a recent post about how sometimes we get so focused on how to do identity resolution, it’s easy to forget why we’re doing it and what the effects can be: “The technology challenge can often be so consuming that we devote scarce attention to the ethical issues involved.”
In our case, balancing the need for security with the privacy and confidentiality rights of the individual was the driving force behind the initiation of this corporate blog, and the imperative for establishing it came from the top down. Having worked for so long with the Department of Homeland Security on next generation airline passenger screening, we were familiar with the sometimes agonizing decisions made by those responsible for passenger safety and national security, but who simultaneously hold themselves accountable for the responsible use of citizen information.
Not long after we started posting, we talked about the creative tension between those concentrating on privacy and security concerns in Privacy and Security Advocates: It’s a Good Thing We Can’t All Get Along: “Without a certain level of security then American lives will be lost. Conversely, without a certain level of privacy, the American way of life will be lost. And at times, we as a nation have made mistakes when the pendulum has swung too far either way.”
Shortly thereafter we made sure you became aware that DHS head Michael Chertoff had decided to jump into the social media conversations with a post called We the Bloggers: Chertoff on Balancing Privacy and Security: “Mr. Chertoff’s blog is of interest, particularly yesterday’s post, Privacy And Security. Writing about this post, Wired noted that ‘the man has a little flair.’ And indeed, he does. His post starts off refuting Scott McNealy’s famous declaration, ‘Privacy is dead, get over it.’
Despite our close relationship with DHS, we haven’t held back in making you aware of controversy when it has arisen, as in Privacy vs. Security: New FBI Data-mining Program Sparks Debate: “One thing that is clear about this 200-yr-plus debate is that the opinions and actions of both the defenders of privacy and security must remain engaged and unbending, watchful and most importantly — true to their beliefs to maintain a proper balance.
We will continue to track and discuss these issues. Finding that perfect balance will always be a challenge, as we pointed out in Finding a perfect balance between individual privacy and national security: “Since its inception, the United States has debated and even struggled with maintaining a balance between rights and responsibilities, the individual and the state and privacy versus security… Throughout the course of American history, we sometimes made mistakes while we struggled with achieving a perfect balance. Thankfully, the Founding Fathers wisely created a system of checks and balances between the three branches of the federal government that ultimately, time after time, has managed to correct imbalances imposed upon both privacy and security.”