A Spicy Issue

David Byrd : Byrd's Eye View
David Byrd
Chief Marketing Officer for ANPI

A Spicy Issue

I was planning on a making a very special dish this weekend but was blindsided by a mother-daughter thing. My wife and her daughter decided to spend the day together at the Dallas Museum and, well, it's not really a lot of fun to cook just for yourself. So, Sunday, ended up being a very unoriginal day of cooking. However, I do have an original recipe for you. Saturday, we ran a number of errands and I decided to make something very simple but good. I made us a garden salad and Buffalo wings. The recipe of the week is Buffalo Wings. Now I know, this is bar food fare but we all know that we like them. I make them two ways, original style and breaded. I assure you that you will enjoy these wings and the sauce.

A Spicy Issue, Privacy

I was watching 60 Minutes last night and heard a remarkable statement. During an interview by Morley Safer of Martin Cooper, the inventor of the cell phone, Cooper said to the effect that he liked companies collecting information on his buying habits because they could target his interest better. He then volunteered that we all needed to get use to it and stop being concerned about privacy. First, I want to acknowledge that Cooper and his team at Motorola did a very special thing in coming up with a self-contained cell phone. However, I cannot agree with the idea that we all need to give up on privacy expectations.

If you want to get a rise out of me, begin by saying there is no right to privacy. I have been involved in telecommunications for 29 years and the Internet for 16 years. I have been part of privacy discussions with many telecom companies because we have access to an unbelievable amount of information. From a service provider's switching and data center, one can listen into or record any conversation. Without strict rules and enforcement, privacy can be compromise at any time. While privacy statements may reassure some percentage of the population, and another percentage doesn't care, I want to see it demonstrated in practice. While at Sprint and here at Broadvox, I have not seen us violate the privacy of our customers. For that, I am a proud employee. However, when I look back to how only Qwest refused the NSA's request for access to their customer's Internet usage, I know that privacy concerns require greater priority.

Moreover, I find Google's actions of late very disconcerting. Yes, it concerns me that they collect information on everyone that uses their products (search, gmail, Google Voice, etc.). But when they were initially accused of collecting certain information as they built their Street View product, they denied the accusations. It took them 30 days to acknowledge their actions. Now, they face scrutiny and potential legal action from Canada, Israel and Spain, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Ireland, New Zealand and the U.K. I hope the US joins in the effort as well.

IP Communications is a tremendous enabling technology. I promote its usage every day. As we continue to develop and adopt the next generation of convergence applications, privacy must be respected.



Feedback for A Spicy Issue

Leave a comment

Featured Events