So if it’s not mixing my Disney metaphors the Genie is well and truly out of the bottle ! To say I am bemused at the level of public naivety in this area is an understatement . What do all the users of Facebook, Twitter et al think these companies are doing with their data? In their personal lives they would not work for free, so why do people think that the aforementioned companies are not monetising their data?
The recent Cambridge Analytica firestorm as well as a recent presentation on data security by Rich Hollis are making me seriously think about going off the grid. What Facebook are doing in Philippines and what China are doing with their social classification drive is really scary.
In Europe we at least have the forthcoming GDPR regulations. With GDPR we are going to find out for the first time exactly how many data breaches there are because up until now it was not mandated that a company had to inform the regulator within a given time of a data breach. Executives are now aware that they can now, on top of substantial fines, face personal law suits against themselves if they are found to be negligent. The consent mechanisms that GDPR will insist on, will also make it much clearer for us to understand what data is being gathered and what it is being used for.
So back to the title of this post, is everyone living a fairy-tale existence, believing their data is safe and like every other bad event it’s happening to someone else ? The swathes of Facebook users, including me to a degree, are exposing details of themselves their friends and family to a huge array of good and BAD people, and their increasingly good technology. This technology in particular is putting you in a box whether or not you know or like the box you’ve been placed in.
The irony is that I am using the self same technology to publish this article. That is the dilemma, we need to communicate to solve problems, but what if the means of communication is the problem ?
Take care !