& cplSiteName &

Evernote CEO: Govt. Surveillance Will Be 'Solved'

Mitch Wagner
6/16/2014
50%
50%

SAN FRANCISCO -- MIT Technology Review Digital Summit -- Evernote CEO Phil Libin got laughed at when he said government surveillance could be a solved problem in the next year or two, because government needs to respond to the people's will.

"I actually don't think the government surveillance problem is going to be a major problem," Libin said. "I think that is solvable in the next year or two, just because we should just decide as a society what we want the government to do, and then the government should do that."

The audience during a Q&A with Libin laughed cynically at this point.

"I know that sounds like a crazy West Coast thing," Libin said, as the laughter continued. "I spent seven years of my life doing work for the government, in government systems, in Boston and in DC, and so I know it sounds less realistic there. But that is actually how it works. I think the problem is we don't have a consensus as to what the government ought to be doing. First we have to establish a consensus."

Business data use represents a greater threat to privacy than government surveillance, Libin said. Ad networks are the vectors most exploitable by malware, hackers, and government spying.

Still, data collection has many highly moral uses. For example, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) can use search patterns to accurately track flu epidemics. "That's great, and there's totally a guy at Google working on that. And there's 10,000 people working on the problem of how to get you to click on more ads," Libin said. The advertising business model for data tracking swamps out other, more beneficial applications.

Advertising has more problems than just security and privacy, Libin said.

"I'm biased because I just don't like advertising in general," Libin said. Even so, he said, the advertising business model doesn't scale to mobile, wearable, or the Internet of things.

"Let's say I'm working on my big desktop computer at home," Libin said. "I have a big monitor, and my average session length on my computer at home is two hours. So if I'm sitting there for two hours with two 30-inch monitors, how many pixels a minute am I willing to allocate to advertising? Maybe a little bit.

"But when I'm on my phone, I'm only using it for two minutes at a time, and my screen is only four inches, how much time and pixels am I willing to give to advertising? Almost none, which is why advertising in mobile is really thorny.

"But then when I move from the phone to my eyes, things are getting beamed directly into my retina, and my active engagement time is a second and a half. How much time am I willing to give to advertising? Really; really none at all."

Evernote Corp. 's business model is that revenue comes from individual and corporate subscriptions. "We make money right now. We have this really old-fashioned business model; we only make money from you when you decide to pay us," Libin quipped. Evernote also sells physical products, such as wallets, briefcases, and notebooks, in conjunction with partners.

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to wagner@lightreading.com.

(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Michelle
50%
50%
Michelle,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/18/2014 | 3:55:55 PM
Re: This, this, this.
@Joe there's always a bonus but it's not always the good kind...
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/16/2014 | 8:34:13 PM
This, this, this.
> Business data use represents a greater threat to privacy than government surveillance

On the whole (though certainly not in every case) this is very true because business data is subject to government surveillance & court orders.  So you have all of the problems of the private sector spying on you -- doing way more than the government would be able to legally do -- PLUS the fact that the government can access this data (as well as hackers and other miscreants via other vulnerabilities).
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/16/2014 | 5:42:58 PM
RE: Evernote CEO: Govt. Surveillance Will Be 'Solved'
@danielcawrey, I'm thinking along your lines as well.

Advertising is their business model and I believe they will find a way to "connect-the-dots" with the transition to devices.  They found a way to commercialize the internet, streaming, etc., I share your view that they will find an effective way to advertise with evolving technology.  This is their lifeblood - so they won't stop short of their goals.
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/16/2014 | 5:09:46 PM
Re: Evernote CEO: Govt. Surveillance Will Be 'Solved'
I think that technology companies will still be able to figure out this issue of advertising on mobile and wearable devices. There's no question to that in my mind.

Companies like Google and Facebok are not desktop companies anymore. They are all about mobile, because they know that is where the eyeballs are going to be. And I think that means they will figure this advertising issue out. 
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/16/2014 | 2:23:57 PM
RE: Evernote CEO: Govt. Surveillance Will Be 'Solved'
Mitch, interesting!  One wonders where the breakdown is - has the government quit responding or have we quit demanding response?  Maybe both.

At least the Summit should remind us to be vigilant.

 
Mitch Wagner
100%
0%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
6/16/2014 | 2:16:58 PM
Re: Evernote CEO: Govt. Surveillance Will Be 'Solved'
And based on the laughter at Libin's remarks, the audience was skeptical that government is, indeed, responsive by design.
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/16/2014 | 12:59:35 PM
Re: Evernote CEO: Govt. Surveillance Will Be 'Solved'
Mitch, interesting perspective.  It sounds as if he knows the systems and what changes those systems.

I believe he is saying that government, by design, has to respond when there is enough public pressure; and his point of our defining acceptable standards of intrusion is a good one.  It probably is true that if we would make a stand on the public's acceptance of government surveillance, it would be influential in the standards and how far government can go.

His point about advertisers makes sense.  They have a single purpose of creating a need for us to buy for their products and services to make money.  There probably is a greater threat to our personal security from the data we create on the commercial side than we recognize. 

We need to be more aware - it sounds as if this MIT Summit was doing that!
From The Founder
The time has come for a telecom app store to save the industry.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Documentaries
Service Provider Panel: Partnering in the Digital Era

5|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Coopetition has always been part of telecom, but the ecosphere now includes data centers, vendors, apps developers, cloud service providers and Internet content providers. This BCE 2017 panel explores the new attitudes among network operators as to the value and variety of ...
LRTV Interviews
Site Demo: AT&T's IoT Flow Platform

5|19|17   |   04:25   |   (0) comments


At AT&T's R&D center in Tel Aviv, Israel, project leader Eyal Segev talks about the operator's Flow platform and how it helps to prototype IoT applications.
LRTV Documentaries
Agent of Change: A Q&A With AT&T's John Donovan

5|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


Carol Wilson talks with the man leading AT&T's transformation efforts about the challenge of change.
LRTV Documentaries
BCE Service Provider Panel: The New Business Realities

5|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


For virtualization to happen, the telecom industry first has to grapple with key functional aspects of SDN and NFV that need to be universal, such as onboarding of virtualized network functions and federation of software-defined networks.
LRTV Interviews
BCE Service Provider Keynote: CenturyLink

5|16|17   |   22:32   |   (0) comments


Aamir Hussain leads the Product Development and Technology organization at CenturyLink, which includes the company's information technology function. He is an experienced senior technology executive with more than 25 years of proven success in the implementation of global technology operations, operationalization of complex technology, infrastructures and business ...
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink CTO on Transformation

5|16|17   |   7:43   |   (0) comments


The 50-year-old telco has already gone through several transformations, including every time it made an acquisition, but its purchase of Level 3 coupled with changes in technology and customer expectations necessitates its biggest transformation yet.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2017

5|15|17   |   5:05   |   (1) comment


Find out who made it into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Interviews
Site Visit: AT&T's Tel Aviv R&D Center

5|15|17   |   09:58   |   (1) comment


Nir Shalom, general manager and VP of application development at AT&T Israel, talks about the key service developments undertaken at the AT&T R&D facility in Tel Aviv and how the team there has adopted new ways of working.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Act on Your Intelligence With Amdocs aia!

5|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Amdocs CMO Gary Miles explains how communications service providers can seize the AI opportunity with Amdocs real-time digital intelligence platform.
LRTV Interviews
Logtel CEO: Making Sense of IoT

5|15|17   |   09:48   |   (0) comments


Jacques Bensimon, founder and CEO of Tel Aviv-based training and consultancy Logtel, talks about the need to make IoT more than just a buzzword.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Challenges of Mobile Banking Implementation

5|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


Kamal Quadir of bKash Limited explains the challenges and needs of implementing mobile banking in the Bangladesh market.
LRTV Interviews
Tel Aviv: A Hub of Innovation

5|10|17   |   07:58   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre and Dan Allen discuss the technology innovation, food and amazing sights they witnessed during a recent trip to Israel.
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
BSS Is BS, Says KPN Tech Boss
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/16/2017
AT&T's Donovan: Women Adapt Faster Than Men
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 5/18/2017
Verizon on M&A: Who Needs a Cableco?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/17/2017
Standardization Needs Room for Innovation
Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 5/17/2017
Fright Wigs & Cocktails: BCE 2017 in Pics
Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 5/19/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.