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Context: Rescuing Us From Privacy's Dark Age

Our lives are mobile-everything. Our stuff is increasingly sensor-laden. And the services that give us access to our data, people, and things are, by definition, collecting massive volumes of data about us. It's impossible not to be excited about the opportunities that new technologies offer... and impossible not to worry about their implications on privacy. Companies try to protect themselves by writing policies that are full of loopholes, and as a result, consumers don’t fully understand what they’re agreeing to and are often “creeped out” by how their data ends up being used. Contextual privacy is the key to good privacy practices; it balances consumer desires and organizational needs by fundamentally redefining privacy to accommodate smartphones, sensors, big data, and 'persistent recognition.'

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. What is 'contextual privacy,' and why does it matter?
  2. Why is there such a gap between consumers' expectations of privacy, and marketers' practice?
  3. How can companies make contextual privacy a brand value and a market differentiator?
  4. What are the risks of ignoring contextual privacy?
  5. What do organizations need to do in order to achieve contextual privacy?



Fatemeh Khatibloo, Senior Analyst, Forrester Research

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