The first proof of the importance of privacy in this year’s CES came from Apple in the form of a giant billboard on a building in Las Vegas that read “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone.” Since 2016, Apple has used privacy as a competitive advantage going as far as Tim Cook denouncing that data is being “weaponized against us with military efficiency by the data-industrial complex.” Even though Apple does not have a presence inside the CES, its marketing brilliance was made evident with the billboard.
Inside the event, privacy was present in various ways:
- Steve Koening, Consumer Technology Association Vice President, spoke about the importance of data for today’s technology and how data privacy and security are more relevant than ever.
- BlackBerry announced “BlackBerry Secure,” a new branding that aims to position the company among consumers and manufacturers as a referent in data security and privacy.
- LG introduced ThinkQ, an AI platform that gives personalized recommendations based on usage patterns. David Vanderwaall, SVP of marketing for LG Electronic’s US Arm, mentioned that the company is using a hybrid privacy-protection method in which the device stores individual usage data, but only aggregated data is sent to the cloud.
- Mycroft, a smart assistant that competes with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assitant, does not collect or store any data from the users, unlike the other two. It will be interesting to see how intelligent the assistant can be without collecting data.
- A conference titled “American Privacy Regulations in a Post-GDPR World” featured Walmart’s Director of Global Public Policy, Consumer Technology Association’s SVP of Government and Regulatory Affairs, amongst others, discussing privacy regulations.
In 2019 we will see data privacy becoming a business imperative, either because organizations have to comply with regulations and/or because consumers are demanding it. However, organizations have the responsibility to move from using data privacy as a marketing/buzzword to educating customers on how personal data is protected.