Thank you , Mr. Murdoch, I owe you one. I’ve spent the past five years trying to convince the world of something you managed to do with one simple scandal. I’m sorry that you will probably lose your reputation and much of your company and wealth because of it (not to mention your self-respect), but the world will be a better place for it. Why? Not just because our phone is ringing non-stop with companies and individuals that want to protect their private information.
It’s because you, Mr. Murdoch, awoke the PRIVACY BEAST! Two weeks ago, no one paid very much attention to voicemails being hacked. The average Facebook user was shrugging off the knowledge that their data was being systematically collected, aggregated and sold to the highest bidder all for Facebook’s financial gain. Android users ignored the warnings that malicious apps disguised as harmless games were funneling their bank account numbers, contact lists and geographic whereabouts to locations in Iran and North Korea. iPhone users continued to load their phones with as much data as a laptop without even password protecting the darn thing. Most of us lived in a comfortable, pitiful, stupor of privacy ignorance. But today, everyone suddenly cares .
Thank you for reminding us why privacy matters. You stole the voicemails of a murdered child, and that we cannot forget. For the sake of a pre-emptive scoop, you bribed officers who should have been focusing on capturing the culprit to feed your profit machine. You tempted the gods by abusing and misusing the Power of Information and now it is that very same power that will destroy you.
The emails of News of the World “reporters” discussing your phone-hacking exploits were backed up, archived, indexed and given a digital half-life of a million years. The smoking trail of digital DNA that you left behind while breaking the law, breaking our trust, breaking your business, will never disappear. And even if you didn’t do it, didn’t authorize it, didn’t know about it, it still happened under your watch.Most sadly of all, it happened under your son’s watch, who it appears more and more, takes after his father.
John Sileo speaks around the world on Privacy and Profitability to clients like the Department of Defense, Blue Cross and Homeland Security.