Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Is security a layer?

I am thinking that one of my layers for the "2010" media industry has to be security.

Everyday we head closer to becoming a cashless society. That is until you read a story like this one. The Boston Globe apparently wrapped the weekend delivery of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette with recycled paper that inadvertently contained the credit card numbers and bank account numbers of what could amount to 240,000 subscribers.

This is just more case of an organization we trust (or maybe don't even know we trust i.e. Choicepoint) not taking the appropriate care with our private personal data.

My vision of the future of media/technology/computers has to have security as the first layer between me and "it." Maybe Norton has a bigger role than just being the anti virus, password organizer that it is today. Maybe Norton (or someone like them) can develop a system that encrypts my personal information (ie. Social security numbers and credit card numbers) in such a way that only I can unlock it.

I seem to remember a credit card company that allowed its cardholders to create a distribute "purchase specific" card numbers. That actually is a pretty cool idea. If it we started with the private/public encryption keys that we studied last summer. We could expand it to include an individual key, a credit card issuer key and a retail store key. The restriction could be that the dynamic credit card number would only work with the three keys, and only for the particular retail store (or organization, etc.). In that multi key environment, it wouldn't matter if my credit card number were "accidentally" or "inadvertently" lost because it would be useless.

It is worthwhile exploring under what conditions and in what specific industries and markets could security emerge as a distinct capability layer.

I have two candidate sectors as a starting point: Healthcare and financial services.
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