Who Owns Your Data?


On March 1st at 11:00 EST, I will be participating on a Coffee Break with Game Changers show hosted by Bonnie D. Graham. An abstract for the show can be found below. You can listen Live or On-Demand, typically two hours after the show. coffee-break-with-game-changers


In today’s digitally-enabled economy, we as individuals have integrated Internet-connected (and usually mobile) devices into our lives to inform even the most mundane of decisions. For example, we may speak or type an inquiry to our PA / chatbot or browser, “Where’s the nearest Starbucks?” or “What’s the quickest way to get to the freeway from here?”

Shoppers today begin their paths-to-purchase in the digital realm, even when their intention is to complete their purchases in a physical location. And beyond the purchase, people are very open, via social media, to talking about their experiences with products and stores. That’s good news for advertisers, manufacturers, retailers, and service providers, who can glean important non-transactional “signals” from consumers about sentiment and demand.
But there’s a downside to all the “digital breadcrumbs” that we are leaving in our wake.

By capturing and analyzing these “signals” to other known data about us – financial data, loyalty-card information, past purchase data – they can build detailed profiles of each of us and even describe our lifestyle.

  • Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
  • Who “owns” all the information that we as consumers (perhaps unintentionally) “leave” everywhere?
  • Who owns the derived insights?
  • Do we as consumers care?
  • Should we?


 “The most promising privacy thing is stupid phones. I’m dumping all my smart phones”

– John McAfee

We as individuals have welcomed Internet-connected, often mobile devices to help us make daily decisions. But whether asking a chatbot for directions or researching products online, you’re leaving digital breadcrumbs that advertisers, manufacturers, and others can capture and analyze to build detailed profiles about your lifestyle. Do you care who sees and uses your private data? Should you? The experts speak.

Brian Kilcourse, RRS Research: “If we’re going to be connected, we’ve got to be protected…” (Barack Obama).

Frank Diana, TCS: ““Simply put, it is possible to have convenience if you want to tolerate insecurity, but if you want security, you must be prepared for inconvenience” (Gen. B W. Chidlaw).

Larry Stolle, SAP: “The way I see it, if you want to see the rainbow you have to put up with the rain!” (Dolly Parton)

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