google, internet, Microsoft, privacy

Can respect for privacy be a competitive differentiator?

Though biometrics get quite a lot of attention from people interested in privacy, the real action is in the internet browser and online services. Just remember — If you are not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold*.

The Microsoft “Scroogled” ad campaign against Google is interesting because it indicates that the high-level marketing types at Microsoft believe the public is open to the message that some web services are taking too much information from users compared to the value the users receive in “free” services. Whether respect for privacy is a competitive differentiator among web services remains to be seen, but the fact that Microsoft has spent real time and money on the assumption that it is should not go unnoticed.

Google Privacy Chief Blasts Microsoft’s “Scroogled” Campaign at RSA Conference (CIO)

The bulk of the article linked above is devoted to privacy standards, privacy policy and corporate management. While that’s not nearly as eye-catching as a slug fest between Information Age titans, it is a much more substantial issue and one worth of serious attention.

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