July 5, 2008 10:35AM

More on Randy Vanderhoof and Privacy

Who is Randy Vanderhoof, you say?

More than a year ago, I posted here about a quote Randy Vanderhoof of the Smart Card Alliance had given to Federal Computer Week:

Privacy concerns are all perception and hype and no substance but carry considerable weight with state legislators because no one wants to be accused of being soft on privacy.

Though I’m not sure, I have a vague recollection that someone from his organization called me up or emailed and explained that he was misquoted. All a misunderstanding.

So I was interested in a Q&A Randy Vanderhoof had with David Pogue of the New York Times recently. Asked about the obstacles to adoption of smart cards in the U.S., he said:

It’s the business rules and legal barriers that are the biggest obstacles to overcome, and some cultural norms have to change as well, like the privacy advocates who don’t trust any technology that touches their identities (especially if the government is somehow in the middle).

There may be some privacy advocates that don’t trust any technology touching identity, but maybe it’s that all the technologies touching identity yet seen fail to meet the demands of the public for privacy and data security — especially if the government is in the middle.

I’m all for changing cultural norms. The dismissive culture at the Smart Card Alliance seems to be the right place to start.