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October 1, 2008 - 0 Comments

We tend to think of video phones as a modern-day thing, but can you believe they were first demonstrated about 50 years ago? Sure, there were technical barriers that prevented them from being adopted; but there was another factor, too: folks would never want the level of intrusion that a video call imposes. Fast forward to 2008, and the debate is no longer about video, but on just how much of our inner thoughts and viewpoints we should be publishing for all to see. Like New York City apartment buildings that are crammed next to and on top of one another, enabling you to see what’s on your neighbor’s dinner plate - or worse - posts to blogs or social networking sites reveal so much personal detail. Our political and social views, our relationships - both good and bad, our friends in various stages of revelry - all of it in the public eye.And now we’re starting to see a response to that - an effort to help compartmentalize our lives. Browsers including Chrome and Firefox, with”private” modes (sometimes referred to by another ‘p’ word as well), have emerged as a result of Facebook’s decision to feed your details to all of your friends-a personal RSS of sorts. With this preponderance of personal information on the Web, I’m thinking we should be wary of identity theft in new ways. After all, credit card numbers and passwords are not my true identity; it’s what might be posted on MySpace, Facebook, and even within my blog. This is the caution that I’ll pass on to my daughters: information that goes way beyond a name and address on a Web site form should be treated with care - Think about where it can end up and what kind of people can access it. And now our Web lives are extending to the cellphone. The mobile phone has evolved from communicator to productivity tool to social platform. Recently, Research in Motion (RIM) announced a partnership with MySpace, effectively creating an integrated MySpace mobile experience specifically for the Blackberry platform. In support of the announcement, RIM Co-CEO Jim Balsillie cited an e-Marketer study that predicts more than 800 million people worldwide will access social networks via mobile devices by 2012 - a significant rise from the 82 million people accessing them in 2007.The iPhone, and its applications-Where are my friends, where are they eating, what parties are in town-has struck a chord very different from the workhorse Windows mobile and Blackberry devices. And those who want to look in and out of this vast picture window should be smart about when to pull the blinds. If you didn’t catch our broadcast on data loss yesterday, check out what we announced. That’ll make the point pretty clear. With the lines blurring between work and home, public and private, and the use of the same device for both, your information and your company’s information are all one happy family. Security has never been more important. And on that note, I encourage you to learn more at

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