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Putting Security at Risk

Nov 9, 2007
To survive in a competitive global environment, an organization must provide targeted customers more value than its competitors, as customer value is the difference between all the benefits derived from a total product/service and all the costs of acquiring those benefits. For instance, owning a car can provide a number of benefits, including flexible transportation, image, status, pleasure, comfort, and even companionship. However, securing these benefits requires paying for the car, gasoline, insurance, maintenance, and parking fees, as well as risking injury from an accident, adding to environmental pollution, and dealing with traffic jams and other frustrations. It is the difference between the total benefits and the total costs that constitutes customer value. Thus, providing superior customer value requires the organization to do a better job of anticipating and reacting to customer needs than the competitor does.

However, providing superior value and anticipating today's evolving consumer needs requires deep understanding of the emerging consumer networks, which in turn requires thorough understanding of the behavioral principles that guide the different acceptance levels of alternative distribution channels. Although the unquestionable outcomes of September 11th are still discussed around the globe, the shift of the public's focus from privacy issues to safety guidelines and the overwhelming acceptance of new technology uses, have considerably altered the scene of operations. Just as in the traditional product cycle, private information is now circulated as the new commodity that has to accompany the individual and reveal as much classified data as possible. Under these exchanged guidelines, people have to alter their attitudes towards government invasion and accept unanimously the American principle that 'if you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to be afraid of'. Security is the exchanged value in this information marketplace, where the airplane passenger has to surrender his dignity at the security officer's table. But is the market/society able and willing to respond?

The outcomes of few research findings indicate that while anonymity is preferred, the fear principle still governs the ultimate decision and directs the person to reveal as much information as possible, without questioning the use of the acquired information, or the force that directs the whole process. Everything is conducted in the name of a 'greater good'. The passengers' market in this example, accepts the circulation of information without disputing its usefulness and in airport facilities, customer value increases when the passenger calculates the possible outcome of the distributed information. Circulation of information in this example is not just a simple procedure in a specific distribution channel, but has become a part of the actual service offered to the public. Keeping information hidden can cause a major crisis, thus people operate under the influence of group norms and the pressure of guilt. The redefined safe zone is strengthened by the argument that privacy is a very small price to pay in exchange to security.

But in many parts of the world, airport passengers become reluctant to release private information without first examining if there is a dignity issue involved. More and more traveling markets have come to realize that even when the circulation processes of information are not going to affect directly their lives there is still the issue of personal rights and privacy. The present choices of this market will ultimately be reflected in the future consequences of passengers' tolerance levels, although certainly no one is pleased staying inside this minimum interference utopia.
About the Author
Jonathon Hardcastle writes articles on many topics including Business, Finance , and Jewelry
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