- Michael Fertik is the CEO and Founder of ReputationDefender, the online privacy and reputation company. The views expressed are his own. -
Digital reputation and privacy literally became the stuff of legend and movies this year (WikiLeaks, The Social Network). But stay tuned for 2011: we are going to see more dramatic shakeouts in the commercial, personal, and governmental spheres. The central question is whether the public, business community, and policymakers will come to grips with the many fault lines of digital control of information or if they will either pretend that it’s not a problem or that tiny, incremental steps are real solutions.
Here are some concrete predictions for the year:
1. “Reputation Manager” appears as a title at 25 Fortune 500 companies.
Reputation and privacy are positioned to overtake malware and virus as the biggest threats to corporate digital security. WikiLeaks is said to have 2,000 mirror sites operating. Leakers are on the march. Not only are the reputations of companies vulnerable to all the would-be Assanges of the world, any employee or customer with a mobile phone can do equal damage (evidence: Domino’s employee nose pick). In today’s news-driven environment, where anyone can be a broadcaster, companies must understand the strategic advantage of proactively building and maintaining a bulletproof corporate reputation, which will include the reputation and privacy of its employee and commercial secrets.
2. You get a dollar value assigned to your online reputation and to your personal information online.