As technology grows by leaps and bounds, we have to ask ourselves, “Are we headed into a future where security and privacy will be lost forever?” Why? Well, very recently, analysts put out a warning to consumers to be careful what they talk about in front of the new Samsung Smart TV. Apparently, this device can “listen” to your conversations and share them with service providers or third-parties by converting your spoken word into text and translating it for them. Call it an era of cognitive computing, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, or anything else you want to call it–the fact is: “smarter” machines have arrived and they are already interacting with us even when we are not fully aware that it’s happening.
If you’re like me and love to follow tech innovations as closely as possible, I’m sure you’re marvelling at how machines are taking on human attributes. But, on a personal front, I must confess that I feel slightly threatened. When I think about some of the conversations I have in my family room on the couch with my friends, family, and loved ones while watching my favorite TV show, I grow leery. Many of those conversations are personal in nature. I’m sure you could say the same about the conversations you have in your own home. With gadgets like the Smart TV around, our personal lives may not remain personal for much longer. So the obvious question here is: why do manufacturers like Samsung long for our data – even our most intimate info?
Brands Want a Bigger Bite of our Personal Lives
Last week there was commentary on how Facebook knows us better than our therapists, and chances are they really do. What these trends are pointing out is: the Big Data space is growing more and more powerful as we are sharing our personal information at an unprecedented pace, knowingly or, as is often the case, unknowingly. What we don’t share in public, many of us do in private groups or messages. All this information is a gold mine of customer intelligence that companies and brands are wrestling to get hold of. Now, with exciting new tech possibilities emerging, companies are hoping to grab a bigger share of our lives in a bid to not only sell us what we desire, but to get deeper insights into our mind as consumers so they can design and develop better products.
Brands want to Drive the Most-targeted Content our way
We are past the age where brands and marketers push their products towards prospective customers. Today’s consumers are more interested in receiving personalized treatment from brands they are associated with. This is one of the reasons why brands are trying their best to know their customers on a deeper level. If they are able to get their hands on our most intimate information, they can drive the most accurately targeted content in our direction, knowing that it will strike a chord with us and perhaps prompt us to buy whatever it is that they are selling.
Data will Never Stop Growing
As people continue to trade their private data for access to applications like FB, Google, or other free apps, the collection of measurable information about them will continue to grow. But ultimately where is this leading us? Sure, we’ll have better products that’ll make our lives easier and hopefully, we might even have more time to enjoy life with “smart” gadgets doing our chores and remembering important things for us. But do you wonder what price we will have to pay to enjoy this blissful life? I believe that is something that we’ve got to figure it out, before it’s too late.
Disclaimer: This blog was written as part of the Connect With Ricoh Innovative Ideas program and was first seen here. While I was compensated for this post, the ideas and views are my own.
Photo: Creative Commons