Five thoughts on the future of online privacy and security as discussed on Twitter

Engaging with others publicly proved an opportunity to share, learn, and think about the future of security and privacy

I finally did it. After over 6 years on Twitter (one of the first 1 million to sign up!), I finally figured out hashtags and Twitter chats. Or is it tweet chats?

This morning I participated in an online discussion using Twitter. I joined Robin Wilton (@futureidentity), Dejan Kosutic (@Dejan_Kosutic), and others in an engaging conversation about security and privacy hosted by RSA Europe.

In the event you missed it, the chat transcript is here:

It's never too late to engage. See an idea or have a suggestion?  Let me know @catalyst.

Thoughts on the Twitter-chat format

I found the experience faster-paced and more exciting that I anticipated. Not only will I do it again, but I encourage you to consider participating in one in the future. Maybe we can even work on it together.

The chat provided an hour to focus on one topic, guided by a handful of questions. The format requires quick thinking and rapid posts of ideas. Then a moment to read what others write/respond, welcome more people into the discussion, and see where it leads. 

It served to confirm ideas, challenge assumptions, introduce new thinking, and even reveal some patterns. In a field where we struggle to find the time to think -- this is a great way to bust out of the routine and consider our direction. 

Thoughts on security and privacy from the chat

On topic, I captured and shared the following takeaways:

  • Define terms: security and privacy are broad terms with different meanings to different people; they also hold different meanings depending on the situation. We need to consider the role of individuals, businesses, and nation states.
  • Context is key: especially when discussing broad issues. Context really matters when working to engage individuals in otherwise "familiar" concepts with "unexpected" implications. 
  • Translate complexity: while the terms security and privacy are uttered non-stop, the underlying issues and challenges are complex. The key is to translate that complexity into understanding.
  • Communicate more/better: we need both - better/more effective communication, and then we need to engage in it more frequently. I intend to devote a lot of this column to addressing that challenge 
  • Connect actions —> impact: Its back to the work on awareness. It's a first step. It's essential that we help individuals realize the impact of actions. Equally important is our opportunity to learn from their context, experience and view of the consequences.

In security, we need to share our experiences and insights in a way that allows others to share experiences and insights. This is the pathway to connecting with others and working together for solutions.

It's clear we need more conversations and discussions about security and privacy. Since the challenge with any discourse is moving past the words and into action, I propose picking specific areas and driving toward consensus on steps to take.

Ultimately, though, discussions like this help to bring more voices into the mix. More ideas, perspectives and contexts lead us toward better understanding and appropriate solutions.

I hope to do this again, and engage with you, too. 

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