Our Evite for 1984

Our Evite for 1984

We’ve rolled out the red carpet for an Orwellian-like scenario. Here’s how.

1.) Meta-collection of phone calls by the NSA under the Patriot Act. Essentially zero push back by we the people. This is child’s play as compared to the information we willingly volunteer via personal smart devices.

2.) Broad adoption of smart devices with listening and viewing capability. A friend recently mentioned that he was having a conversation and subsequently saw the subject matter appear in a Google search some 20 minutes later. Guess what – Google Home (and other home devices) is first: a listening device that powers Google’s Ad network and second: a convenience tool for your benefit. Next generation home devices incorporate camera and facial recognition features to enable further data collection and refined ad targeting models. Here’s how to clear your home device history.

3.) Constant consumption (on-line, off-line) which builds and refines our social profile (more than social media) in perpetuity. We proposed a “risk score” several years ago to insurers and were met with pushback due to privacy concerns (our software model captured data in the public domain). China has taken social scoring to a new level made possible by the fact that the entire economy operates digitally, funneled through national ID cards (I first witnessed in-person during 2007).

4) A care-free attitude as it relates to privacy settings across device categories. If you transact online, engage on social media, if you have a smartphone (Apple alone has 1.4 billion active smart devices in circulation) then your digital self is exposed. This doesn’t mean you need to leave the door unlocked and wide open. Here are some tips around Google Privacy settings: https://www.consumerreports.org/privacy/how-to-use-google-privacy-settings/

5.) Robust facial recognition and analytics capability is here. Food chains like BurgerFi have incorporated facial recognition technology into their service delivery model. This will become the norm in the not-too-distant future.

In addition to companies incorporating facial recognition into their service delivery models, state and local governments are incorporating it into large scale Data Collection & Analytics programs. Take the example of Amazon “Rekognition”. There’s a reason why Amazon located half of its new HQ in Arlington VA. The Federal Government will easily be Amazon’s largest enterprise customer over the next decade. Learn more about Amazon Rekognition:

In conclusion what to do? I fully expect people to trade down on privacy and trade up on convenience. This doesn’t mean we have to create a frictionless experience for those who covet our personal data – whether they be nefarious actors or those who come in the name of the greater good.