SXSW: The NSA, Snapchat, and Privacy: Should You be Freaking Out?

Tue, 3/11/2014 - 9:01AM — ROY D’SOUZA

Ocean Tomo has three employees attending this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) conference in Austin, Texas. The OTInsights blog will feature the team’s observations and experiences all week. For a live look into SXSW, follow Josh Gammon @GammonIP, Maria Lazarova @lazarovam and Nash Ream @NashReam on Twitter. 

Werner Vogels, CTO of, moderated a lively panel on security and privacy in downtown Austin during day two of SXSW Interactive, entitled “The NSA, Snapchat, and Privacy: Should You be Freaking Out?”  Topics included enterprise data security and consumer financial data protection.  The panelists repeatedly emphasized developing with an eye to security – too many developers view security as a bolt-on and an afterthought.  While the content focused heavily on enterprise, Ocean Tomo team members Maria LazarovaNash Ream, and Josh Gammon caught up with Iconic CTO Adam Ghetti to talk social privacy.  Adam views social data mining for defense and national security interests as a viable strategy which unfortunately lends itself to some abuses – his view on the topic were unusually moderate.

Ocean Tomo works with intellectual property in the hardware and software security space frequently, and this panel emphasized the importance of technology in implementing data security.  While some view it as a matter of policy, vigilance, and trust, Werner’s comments emphasized the central role played by engineers and technology in providing secure communications and data storage: he views recent problems in this space as a failure to innovate sufficiently, rather than a policy failure.  Given the recent security breaches at several retailers and other press-worthy breaches in recent years, the value of intellectual property in this space is increasing.  As corporate executives and the public at large focus increasingly on the security of their data, we can expect the value of IP in this space to grow.

Photo by Jorge Franganillo / CC BY-SA 4.0



Roy D'Souza is a Managing Director responsible for leading Ocean Tomo’s Valuation practice. Mr. D’Souza’s work has focused on valuations of intangible, intellectual property, and tangible assets for acquisitions and divestitures, bankruptcy and restructuring, establishment of intellectual property monetization strategies including licensing, mergers and joint venture/partnership formations, litigation support, and financial reporting and tax matters. Mr. D’Souza also has experience performing business enterprise, equity and debt valuations. Industries in which he has experience include wireless and wired communications, semiconductors, life sciences/pharmaceuticals, computer hardware and software, various light and heavy manufacturing (e.g., pulp/paper, automotive, plastics), and energy/utilities (primarily power generation).


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