Menu
HP lawyer: Tech industry needs to focus more on privacy

HP lawyer: Tech industry needs to focus more on privacy

The tech industry needs to fix concerns before regulators step in, the HP executive says

The technology industry is facing an "erosion of trust" from customers because of concerns over privacy violations and cybersecurity problems, Hewlett-Packard's general counsel said Tuesday.

Privacy and cybersecurity problems are accompanying the creation of many innovative new products from the U.S. technology industry, said Michael Holston, HP's executive vice president and general counsel. The U.S. technology industry needs to work together to come up with new privacy standards and improved cybersecurity protections, he said during a forum on innovation at the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C., think tank.

"What is common, frankly, between privacy and cybersecurity issues is that innovation is generating new risks as well as expectations for increased organizational accountability," he said. "With all of these challenges and issues come huge opportunities to be smart about technology innovation and strengthen trust."

The tech industry should work with other industries and the U.S. government to "harness our collective capability" to protect privacy and secure cyberspace while creating innovative new products, Holston said.

Holston pointed to recent privacy controversies at Facebook and, although he didn't name it, Google, while suggesting that the tech industry needs to do a better job protecting privacy. May 31 was Quit Facebook Day, over concerns about changes in the site's privacy controls, he noted, but fewer than 40,000 people pledged to leave the social-networking site on QuitFacebook.com.

Still, the campaign received significant media attention and there seem to be growing concerns about online privacy from U.S. residents, Holston said. Lawmakers in the U.S. have released a draft of a privacy bill, and European Union regulators are talking about rewriting their privacy rules by the end of the year, he noted.

In addition, the growing popularity of cloud computing will require "new ground rules" focused on privacy and security, he said.

If the U.S. tech industry doesn't better focus on both privacy and cybersecurity, "consumers will react negatively and regulators may have to step in," Holston said.

New laws, however, will struggle to keep up with new forms of data use, collection and storage, he said. "Given the length of time it takes to enact or revise [privacy] laws, the legislative solutions invariably will continue to lag behind the next innovation or business model being adopted by consumers," he said.

Earlier during the innovation forum, Ruth Simmons, president of Brown University in Rhode Island, called on universities to band together to offer science, technology, engineering and math programs for high school students. The U.S. needs a concerted and coordinated effort to attract students to science fields in order to avoid being surpassed by countries like China and India, she said.

Simmons also questioned whether U.S. universities could continue to give scholarships to students without putting conditions on what subjects they major in. Many countries require students receiving scholarships to major in targeted fields, including science and technology, she said.

"We can't compete with countries that demand that students study in certain fields," she said.

Contact Grant Gross at grant_gross@idg.com. He's on Twitter at GrantusG.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags privacyHewlett-Packard

Events

Why experience is the new battleground for partners

Join us for an exclusive webinar, in association with Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) and learn about the latest industry insights and how technology services continue to evolve to deliver differentiated value, and how partners can be successful in 2021 and beyond.

Featured

Slideshows

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Hundreds of leaders from the New Zealand IT industry gathered at the Hilton in Auckland on 17 November to celebrate the finest female talent in the Kiwi channel and recognise the winners of the Reseller News Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) 2020.

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The leading female front runners of the New Zealand ICT industry joined together for the annual Reseller News Women in ICT Awards event at the Hilton in Auckland, during which hundreds of guests celebrated 13 outstanding individuals who won awards, chosen from more than 50 finalists representing over 30 organisations.

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

More than 500 channel leaders gathered in Auckland on 21 October at the ​Reseller News Innovation Awards ​2020 to celebrate the achievements of the New Zealand technology industry's top partners, start-ups, vendors, distributors and individuals.

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners
Show Comments