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Code Halos: How the Digital Lives of People, Things, and Organizations are Changing the Rules of Business by Ben Pring, Paul Roehrig, Malcolm Frank

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Chapter NineDon’t Be Evil 2.0: Earning—and Keeping—Trust in a Transparent World

Despite the many benefits we’ve covered in previous chapters, we’re only too aware that Code Halos have a potential dark side. These new models of commerce are ushering in questions on how organizations build and maintain trust, protect individuals’ privacy, and conduct themselves ethically. We are living in a time when technology is moving faster than legal and cultural constructs, and this is creating significant confusion and even fear.

Many people experience a sense of trepidation when it comes to the growing virtual economy. We hear a lot of comments such as “Yes, but . . .

  • . . . I don’t want big businesses knowing all my personal information.”
  • . . . the government already knows too much about me.”
  • . . . this will be a hacker’s paradise.”
  • . . . now I’ll be bombarded by even more advertising and promotional junk.”
  • . . . how can I control my own information?”
  • . . . this is the final nail in the coffin of privacy.”
  • . . . I am not a number.”
  • . . . I don’t want to live in a 1984 world.”

In the context of the 2013 National Security Agency (NSA) spying scandals, such Orwellian fears are valid and understandable—and we share many of them. The Atlantic magazine’s Conor Friedersdorf put it well when he wrote about the NSA, “[We] are counting on having angels in office and making ourselves vulnerable to devils.”1

We can’t promise that nothing bad will happen when code meets code, and we can’t ignore ...

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