Mobile First, Cloud First: What Does This Tech Philosophy Mean for Your Online Privacy?

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The cosmopolitan port city of Barcelona simmers with surreal modernism, a fitting location for next week’s cutting-edge Mobile World Congress. I’ll be there, one of thousands debating and discussing emerging mobile technologies.

The list of keynote speakers is a mix of leaders, visionaries, and technology evangelists — all of these people understand that consumers are increasingly using mobile devices almost 24/7. The common consumer has evolved from making calls and sending text messages, to browsing the Internet for on-the-go information, to interacting with their social circle and even shopping via mobile. The devices will get increasingly faster and easier to use (i.e., phablets, which bring together the small size of a smartphone with the convenience of a tablet).

Even Microsoft’s new CEO, Satya Nadella, has spoken publicly about his desire for “mobile first, cloud first.” Leaders like Nadella infuse a sense of urgency in all things mobile, cloud, and emerging technologies.

However, the biggest issue for consumers is security, which is paramount given the threats with their information being in the cloud. Information leakage on the cloud and/or exposure to hackers is a big threat. So a VPN service like PRIVATE WiFi is critical to on-the-go consumers and road warriors as they consume and share information over unsecured WiFi networks.

There needs to be more of a focus on these discussions at industry events like Mobile World Congress, especially as telecom carriers keep moving toward “automatic offload” to WiFi for consumers given the congestion on mobile data networks. Some of this will be enabled by telecom companies when consumers are on their owned and operated networks, but there has to be stronger consideration for when consumers are on “free WiFi” and not on the carrier’s network. PRIVATE WiFi, as a premium VPN service, can definitely help close this gap.

I’ll be there, learning and listening, and will report back here with some of the bigger takeaway themes from my time in Barcelona and how these issues affect consumer privacy.

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Alok Kapur

Alok Kapur is President and Chief Operating Officer at PRIVATE WiFi. In this role, Alok drive all aspects of marketing, business development and partnerships, sales and customer service for the company. Follow him on Twitter: @Aloknyc.