If you have any or all of the above, just how private is your private life?
Are you aware that if Facebook was a country, by population, it would actually become the 3rd largest inhabited country after India and China; covering an area the size of north America down to the borders of Peru and Ecuador. Did you know that Twitter users run in excess of 600 million searches and more than 8500 join LinkedIn every day. And did you know that there are approximately 11 million store card accounts held by customers in the UK.
We live in a technology driven society, fact! But the question is- can this be trusted?
Recent scandals would suggest that it cannot. One scandal being the 100 celebrities that have had their personal data clouds hacked, revealing a number of truly confidential images. But given the technology driven society we live in, this was leaked with a click of a button creating a media frenzy globally; many utilising this for marketing ploys and gimmicks. The fact remains that we have brushed this aside and accepted this issue into society as entertainment, but if you think deeper, what content do you personally store to the cloud unknowingly? Details of friends and Family’s addresses, contact details, birthdays, photos as well as business contacts and email addresses…
All of the above is easy pickings for someone to hack into not just your personal information but people close to you too. Are you aware of the precautions and safety measures required to keep this private?
When creating such accounts as Facebook and Twitter, you are required to divulge a certain level of personal information in order to benefit from the full use of social networking, which most will conform to. Why? Because more often than not the want and need to broaden your scope for, let’s be honest, a little entertainment value with a wider network and to be a little nosey, in some cases to stalk individuals here and there, you all do it!
What information have you parted with? In the excitement of creating such accounts, do you think about the information you are providing on a larger scale or just get carried away, completing it as quickly as possible in order to get busy and chase gossip?
Would you share this information with just anyone in the street, probably not! How is it safe to do it online?
75% of social networking username and password samples that were collected online were identical to those used for email accounts, god knows what else!
International retailers more often than not will have in some way, shape or form a loyalty or rewards scheme. Yes it’s great to be able to gain reward points and save money on future purchases but let’s be honest, this is simply a way of monitoring spend from a retailers perspective, allowing them to target consumers based on trends and historic spend, purely for their gain. There is no such thing as a freebie! The data stored by these retailers are often not stored with the security precautions of their organisation’s designated storage systems and is often sold to the market to manufacturers and retailers to gain a competitive edge and upper hand on the competition? So basically your details could be currently in the hands of a company that you have never shopped in, spent money on or are even aware that they exist.
All of the above is easy for someone to hack into not just your personal information, but the people close to you too. Are you aware of the precautions and safety measures required to keep this private? What’s next?
Tier 1 investment banks have been driven by digital technologies for some time now, creating platforms built around business intelligence and data analytics to create a service based around customer trends and habits. The spend on this is vast and will exceed £500 billion this year, why? Because marketing campaign management is also on banks’ minds — to get close to consumers, learn more about them and reach them better creating bespoke services. So what information are they capturing in order to do this?
Technology is ever evolving and probably at a rate that is difficult to comprehend or even manage safely.
Many contributors expect the effects of technology to become even more troubling by 2020 with many forecasting the end of privacy and the continued rise of surveillance, personalisation of everything. What will this mean to society? An increased dependency on devices, loss of human autonomy, for the most part being part addiction and part convenience; replaced by artificial intelligence.
But the prospect of it makes clear that we need mechanisms to keep us on track. The technology industry, which does so much to define us, has a duty to cater to our more complete selves rather than just our narrow interests. It has both the opportunity and the means to reach for something higher. And, as consumers, we should remember that our collective demands drive technological advances. When it comes to technologies, we mainly want to make things easy but are we aware of where this is heading?
So effectively for the most part, it is the norm to have a Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn account. Majority of people owning a device with the ability to save personal information, photos and contacts to a “private” cloud. Over 60% of the world now banking online and 85% now shopping online.
With everything that technology is promising to deliver that is still under acknowledged, we may want to take a step back and analyse, are we actually making progress?
How private is your private life and how private will your private life become?
By: Mark Outram
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