READ: What to Expect from Internet Privacy in The Future?
What to Expect from Internet Privacy in The Future?
The information age has brought with it numerous advantages. Information is more available than ever before, and in turn, it has opened up the world to numerous profitable opportunities.
The ongoing success with Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Collaborative Robots, Big Data and the Internet of Things depends massively on the information users provide.
However, there is a flip side to all this information—the loss of digital privacy. For the longest time, thanks to excitement inherent in new technologies, no one thought this was an issue.
In recent times, things have changed. Consider, for instance, the uproar after the Facebook data breach that saw 30 million accounts compromised.
More Instances That Show How Fraught Internet Privacy Has Become
The Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal. In 2018, an independent company—Cambridge Analytica—managed to scrape personal information from roughly fifty million Facebook accounts. They did so by using a weakness in Facebook’s API.
In 2017, a major US credit agency—Equifax—was the victim of a hack that compromised the data of close to 145 million users. The privacy of those users was hugely affected because the information the hackers took included social security information, date of births, addresses, drivers’ licenses and more.
Earlier in 2016, hackers targeted Uber and managed to compromise the accounts of 57 million users. Here is the scary thing, Uber paid the hackers $100,00 to stay quiet. It makes you wonder, how many more such hacks have happened, and the company in question has paid to keep it quiet?
These instances have made people realize, and they continue to make people realize that they no longer have control over their data and it is a scary thing.
With That in Mind, How Are People Then Reacting to This Loss of Digital Privacy?
To be honest, most are not doing much. Hundreds of thousands of people are not rushing to delete their Facebook or Instagram accounts. If anything, subscribers are increasing by the day. Why? Because there isn’t much anyone can do.
The new technologies that make lives easier depend on this information. There is no Siri, Alexa or Ok Google without information. Cloud computing, data mining and robotics, they all depend on information.
That raises the question, what will the future bring? What can we expect from internet privacy in the future?
1. Big Data Will Fully Take Hold
Big data is the analyzing of extremely large datasets computationally in a bid to reveal patterns, associations, trends especially with regards to human behavior.
In 2018, Statista estimated that annual revenue from the big data market would reach 42 billion dollars. The industry is then expected to continue growing in 2019 and beyond. Note that the data in the discussion is information about you.
Information about what you buy, which stores you frequent, what you are interested in, the brands you like, the food you like, where you travel and so on.
The information is then used by various companies to market their products or design a new product that fit your habits hence guaranteeing that you will buy these products. In the next, five to ten years’ chances are high that the data collected by companies such as Facebook and Google will be unmatched and that will give them unparalleled power.
2. The Internet of Things Will Result in People Putting Their Whole Lives Online
Internet of Things promises to ensure that everyday devices can communicate with the internet—from washing machines to fridges and medical implants. The benefit is that one can control these devices remotely which is a plus.
Unfortunately, these smart devices need to communicate with each other which means eventually, all the information about you will be online. For example, how many times you do your laundry, the washing powder you use, and the disease or diseases you are suffering from.
3. Machine Learning Might Make It Possible to Predict the Future
Machine learning is all about using a sample data set to train or teach a program, software or device how to react to future data sets without human input or explicit programming.
The technology is still growing, but one would imagine that with a big enough data set, the resulting algorithm might be able to predict the future.
Some experts are convinced that with such a loss of privacy, a catastrophic event is on the horizon.
On the other hand, one cannot deny that the emerging technologies that are benefiting from the abundance of information are exciting and will probably change the world. Take big data for example. It will provide a competitive advantage for companies that manage to extract the correct information from the large data set.
Machine learning, on the other hand, might give rise to robots that can fully communicate with each other and also with humans. One thing is for sure; the future is interesting regarding emerging technologies and also when it comes to the eventuality of the loss of internet privacy.