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By Bruce Sussman
Thu | Jan 17, 2019 | 6:45 AM PST

With Bill Gates, the numbers are staggering: 41 million Twitter followers, $90+ billion in net worth, and $100 billion in annual revenue for Microsoft during its 2018 fiscal year.

So you could say his words carry some weight. And his tweets, as well.

And Twitter is where we learned something very interesting about Bill Gates' current mindset.

What is Bill Gates' New Year's resolution?

Gates says he's doing something really rare in 2019. He's making a New Year's resolution about privacy and security. Here is what he tweeted: "I'm committing to learn and think more about the balance between privacy and security...."


In a year when California tech giants tried to fight a new state privacy law, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg apologized to Congress for a privacy scandal, and Apple's Tim Cook said our data is being weaponized against us, it makes sense that Bill Gates is thinking about privacy and security, too.

So how did Twitter users respond to Bill Gates' statement on privacy and security? Here are are a few replies, from his own social media followers:







The tweet by @anna_biela3 does raise an interesting question, one that many of the InfoSec leaders we've interviewed would probably ask:

"Could you elaborate on what you mean by the balance between privacy and security? This seems to put them at odds, which doesn't match my conception of the relationship between them."

Our team has heard repeatedly at SecureWorld's cybersecurity conferences [2019 security conference calendar] that privacy and security are joined at the hip and must now be considered hand-in-hand.

That's certainly how U.S. Senator Ron Wyden views these issues. He is proposing jail time for CISOs, CEOs, and Chief Privacy Officers if there's a failure of cybersecurity and privacy

We'll have to wait and see what Bill Gates actually meant by his resolution tweet.

But we'll take it as another sign that both security and privacy will remain hot topics in 2019.

[RELATED: Preventing an IoT Privacy Nightmare]