Oct 26

Would Mr. Transparency Please Stand Up?

Weber Shandwick is the global agency partner for the BSR Conference 2012: Fast Forward. Our Social Impact team will be sharing insights from the conference here on this blog.

Privacy in the digital age is a widely debated topic these days. Various pieces of legislation have circulated in the U.S. House and Senate. Fortune 500 companies have asserted strong positions for or against regulation and numerous academics have debated the issue in their classrooms. Privacy in the digital era, especially with the emergence of social media outlets, was the topic of Friday’s I3 Presentation by Jeff Jarvis is an Author, Writer, and Professor of Journalism at City University of New York. Jeff has spent countless hours debating this issue with students, colleagues, media professionals and business leaders worldwide.

A few thoughts based on the discussion:

Privacy: There is no doubt that technology is changing the way we interact with one another, the way we consume information and the way we assert our purchasing power. Privacy is, by Jeff’s definition, the ethics of knowing someone else’s information and the responsibility of doing, or not doing, something with it. Companies and individuals should be held responsible for not stealing or abusing the personal information they have, protecting it (think banking and personal identities) and giving someone access and control over their own information.  

Transparency: In the digital age, companies and individuals have countless opportunities to publicly share their thoughts, views, and activities. And, companies and individuals want to share. Sharing in such a public way makes transparency incredibly important.  Companies need to be transparent with the information they are collecting on customers and what they intend to do with it. Transparent relationships between companies and individuals can exist in our era-of-sharing, and can:

  1.  Enable relationships between companies and consumers to be created and improved
  2.  Leads to trust between businesses and individuals
  3. Enables the wisdom of the crowd
  4. Finally, transparency creates collaboration between companies and individuals alike

The takeaway: Jeff is a firm believer in transparency, the power of the internet, and a transparent approach to managing big data.

 by Shelby Watts


Sign-Up to Receive Our Social Impact Newsletters



Must-read social impact news, trends and insights. (Monthly)