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The Right to Privacy

There is a very thought provoking article at NYtimes.com on the differences between privacy in the US and in the EU.  I really suggest that as technologists and engineers you take the opportunity to read the article and bone up on this and other regionally specific laws, procedures, and perceptions. Conformance to them can make your product respectful and desirable, but nonconformance could in fact land you in jail.  The core of the article really gets to a cultural fundamental difference between how the US views privacy and how the EU views privacy.  The result that as technologists and engineers we must build offerings that can meet the perceptions and laws of all regions’ needs we sell and market into.  The area of privacy is a good example where sensitive information about a person cannot expatriated from Europe and brought to the United States of America.  Further there are concepts like nationalized mineral rights that prevent data about the natural resources from leaving the country, what to do then?

All of these rules and regulations may in fact contradict one another so that means you may not be able to put the same product or offering in the same location.  Another approach would be to use the same product, but require that separate instances that do not communicate to one another are used.  I’m sure that there are many patterns possible, but in fact selection of the right pattern has to be done on a case by case, country by country basis.

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Michael Hay

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