In marketing luxury real estate many homeowners would prefer to have photos of their homes forever erased from the Internet for privacy and safety purposes. Have you every published a comment or photo online that you later regretted for fear of it being misjudged or taken out of context?  Growing concerns about privacy has spawned an entire new model for the Internet. Is it time for two Internet models?

New technology known as “ephemeral/erasable” has come into the picture. This is giving voice to both spontaneity and privacy.  It started with an app called SnapChat, a photo-messaging app.  Using the app, you can take photos, record videos, add text and send them to your friends.  You can also control the time the recipients have to view their snaps, from 1 to 10 seconds.  Subsequently, the message is deleted automatically from their device as well as SnapChat’s servers. 

The big Internet companies have operated on the idea of data gathering. Although, you get Google and Facebook for free, you actually do pay by giving them data, which they can subsequently analyze and sell to marketers and advertisers.  The more data Amazon gathers about your buying habits the more valuable they are to marketers and advertisers.

Here is an example:  One of Facebook’s users announced her pregnancy and delight.  Target’s Facebook page gleaned the data and sent the woman coupons for diapers and other baby items.  Babies R Us was also there to promote to her.  However, this individual was incensed and felt that she was sharing a private moment with loved ones.

The permanence of data has been challenged in court in Argentina, with the “right-to-be-forgotten” movement. This movement is supported by the European commission, and was included in its proposed privacy legislation.

Law professor Jeffrey Rosen, wrote in an article for the Stanford Law Review, “This legislation could make giants such as Google and Facebook for example, liable for up to 2 percent of their global income if they fail to remove photos that people post about themselves and later regret, even if the photos have been widely distribute already.”

Some tech pundits are calling SnapChat the most important technology of 2013. But, if a second Internet model emerges the big companies want to control that too!  Facebook made an offer to buy SnapChat for 3 billion all cash, which the partners refused.

Perhaps, the time has come where two Internets exist and WE have the choice: Permanent or Forever Erasable. That would be the ideal world for many luxury homeowners. What do you think?

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-


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