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IAPP Global Privacy Summit 2015

Anytime you get to listen to folks like Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who brought us what was happening inside Edward Snowden’s mind, it is going to be an interesting few days.  Some of the high points from that session alone, the comments around why Snowden risked life in a federal prison for disclosing what he did.  The answer, "It would be less painful to go to a federal prison than to live with the amount of data the US government was collecting on individuals without their knowledge and consent.  To the extent the government is setting massive data storage facilities and basically working not he directive to “collect everything” on the internet so they can review it later for some not yet determined reason.”  The comments certainly make you believe that there is a lot more than one would expect to be recorded for "national security” proposes.  We all know that there is a massive amount of data being created each day, but we haven’t yet begun to understand the impact it will have on our lives at some point in the future.     This was cemented for me when Michael Sandel took the stage.  He is a professor of Harvard’s most popular course to date, “Justice” Sandel explores ethical dilemmas around the world—including the data collection world; and at IAPP, he walked the crowd of about 1,500 people through what felt like a small classroom lecture on privacy and philosophy.  He asked audience members about their personal opinions on issues like Uber’s “God view,” and the statistics tracked by wearable fitness devices.  What made it interesting was that he was personable enough to ask specific members of the audience questions and follow up questions to pull out their real opinions.  Where does privacy start and where does it end?  Can you pay for privacy?  Does paying for privacy violate the right of those who can’t afford it?  It was amazing how quickly he could present the opposing view and even alternate views with several current privacy issues our world faces.     This was a great start to the conference and had the crowd energized for rest of the sessions.  This also came through in the exhibit hall where we had a constant stream of visitors and fielded questions about incident response management, and how we incorporate our global services and software platforms to help the prospective clients that where roaming the halls.  I was amazed at how many of the who’s who of Corporate America’s chief privacy officers were represented at the conference and paid us a visit to learn more.  It was also great to see that many of the attendees were beginning to look at these risks as more of an Enterprise Risk Management issue than something just the Chief Privacy Officer needs to tackle.     See you in Las Vegas next year where I am sure everything will remain private, because what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right?

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