An editorial in today’s NY Times laments the loss of locational privacy thanks to swipe cards, cell phones, and toll transponders. The author asks legitimate questions: how many appications link “who” with “where” unnecessarily and for how long does this information need to be stored?
Analytics-based competitors need to take heed for a couple of reasons: one is the privacy concern raised by the author. Another is whether extraneous data helps or hurt over the long-term. Storage is cheap but it isn’t free anything you store is subject to possible hacking or, as the author points out, subpoena. If it isn’t essential, do you want be bothered with it. Just because you can gather it doesn’t mean you should.
However if you can deliver a tangible benefit to the person whose data you are collecting, be sure to articulate it and provide the option to opt out.
What do you think: Legitimate or over-blown concern?