News & Opinions

When Privacy Isn’t Privacy

Since the beginning of the Internet, one of the key rules of online content that Net-savvy folk have hammered into anyone who will listen, has been: “There is no privacy online”.

Unfortunately, with so many online services giving the sense of security to users, promising that content, credit card numbers and other sensitive information will be safe, this message has been lost.

So I wonder what people will make of Facebook co-creator, chief executive and president, Mark Zuckerberg, recently having a bunch of his personal images made public due to a security flaw on Facebook that users of a body building forum, no less, were sharing details on how to exploit?

To be clear, the pictures themselves were of nothing special. Mark Zuckerberg in his kitchen. Mark Zuckerberg with a puppy. Mark Zuckerberg in a car… with a puppy. And so on. But to gloss over the incident because the images weren’t salacious or obscene in some way, is to perhaps miss the point.

There is no privacy online. If the squillionnaire genius boss of Facebook can’t stop his private pictures from being accessed, what hope do the rest of us have? If the customer credit card details held by global technology leader Sony PlayStation Network can be hacked, then what can’t?

As customer relationships and transactions shift increasingly online, how should brands be preparing to protect their reputation in the face of such devastating systemic failures?

The only way to ensure that you are properly prepared for the future is to assume that it’s not a case of if there will be a breach in your organisation, but when.

An up to date and robust crisis mitigation and recovery manual is vital. But making the plan is only the first part of the solution. Training your team and exercising the plan regularly is the only way to ensure your organisation is best prepared to deal with such crises.

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