Privacy is a big topic nowadays and the reality is, most of us don’t really take the time to understand what privacy means to us. Because of how important privacy is, we want to distinguish between personal privacy and company and employee privacy.
At wikiDOMO.com the public contributes information about the marketplace. Open information, information that is public and freely available for reuse - information about the places, people, products, services and events in our communities. Not only objective information such as the facts that describe things, but subjective information as well. Subjective information comes in the form of comments, ratings and reviews and this is the stuff that scares people.
Our goal is to have all this information managed by the community through rules that are created and enforced by the community. This is an ideal that will be very hard to maintain, but we know how important it is, so we’re making it happen.
With the wikiDOMO.com Beta launch, we have had more exposure. This means more traffic and more attention to what wikiDOMO is doing. So the over 2 million profiles on Canadian places, people and products are being scrutinized. As expected, we’ve had an increased number of requests to remove people and place profiles. The claims are generally two fold; they did not give permission for the profiles; and the profiles infringe on their right to privacy.
I find it interesting that people want to apply privacy to organizations. Organizations that do business in the public, and many cases spend a lot of money to become known. How is it that as a business owner you publicise your business, but then expect that your company name, address and contact info to remain private; and that others cannot talk about it in public?
Same thing with employees, if someone works for an organization, how is it that you expect privacy when it comes to the association of the person with the place of work? Your name and contact information is made public by you and your organization, so why would you expect it to be private?
In Canada, the act that governs privacy is called the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act or PIPEDA. The act appropriately and explicitly, exempts information that relates to a person in their role in an organization in the definition of private information. So, your name is associated with the place you work at, and that is public information – whether you like it or not.
We put ourselves in the marketplace. That’s how we do our jobs. People who interact with us have the knowledge and the ability to share our public work information. Some people claim to not understand the public value of knowing who works in a business and how they perform their duties. Our view is that as long as the information remains about the person’s professional role, and not their personal lives, then the community can benefit greatly.
Knowing who to speak to at an organization, what they do and how well they do it is invaluable. We encourage people to get their clients to talk about them on their profiles. It’s as much about having information and opinions on a profile, as it is about managing perceptions.
Overall, we want to
create an environment that helps consumers to find and acquire products,
services and events. The goal is to protect both consumers and businesses from
unscrupulous practices, and only transparency will ever truly accomplish that.