Why Apple and Google Need to Focus on Privacy

Apple and Google enjoy legions of brand advocates who are willing to wait in line for days to purchase their products and who believe the slogan “Don’t be evil” represents an ethos that will carry mankind into a future defined by technology. For Apple and Google fans there is never too much of a good thing. Until now, perhaps, thanks to new 3D technology that can photograph the very crevices of our private lives.

Personal privacy is an emotional topic, and Apple and Google should carefully navigate how they employ their new 3D mapping technologies. In fact, the issue is so inflammatory that politicians are now involved, including New York Sen. Charles Schumer, who represents a population of Americans who are accustomed to living with little personal privacy: New Yorkers.

Even the most devoted consumers feel strongly about protecting their privacy. No one wants a picture of their sunbathing teenage daughter or jilted ex-husband hurling Jimmy Choos out of the bedroom window to be available online for all to see. However, the unstoppable march of technology has not only reached our doorsteps but can now cross our windowsills and see what we’re doing when we think we’re all alone—which is when most people truly become who they are.

Who knows what Apple and Google are going to do or say to alleviate our concerns about our dwindling sense of privacy. Somehow being blurred just doesn’t seem enough. Who, after all, is doing the blurring?

Facebook just settled a lawsuit over personal privacy that accused the social network of violating users’ rights to control their photos. With politicians taking notice and users willing to sue, both Google and Apple’s technological march could hit a costly speed bump if they aren’t careful.

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