It's easy to make headlines by offering grand statements that privacy is dead. Millions of users certainly are sharing a lot of very personal information, stories, pictures, and data online everyday. So why should a company or any other institution invest their limited time and resources in thinking about privacy?
Because carefully considering privacy issues early on can
save you significant headaches later.
First, there are dozens of national and international laws and
regulations that cover data collection, and if you are not in compliance with
those laws you can have serious problems.
Second, if you aspire to get funded, acquired or go public, you want to
build your data collection architecture so that privacy issues do not create a
roadblock when you least expect it.
Personally, I think people care about privacy a lot more than the anecdotal evidence of the moment suggests. Successful businesses building sustainable and innovative products are those that are ready to answer the tough questions, whether asked by their investors, the press or their users, and to evolve their privacy strategy to complement their business strategy.