The growth and expansion of the digital age has sky rocketed in the last few years with the development and utilisation of ‘Big Data’ and ‘Internet of Things’. But WHAT exactly is ‘Big Data’ you may ask, well ‘Big Data’ to put it simply is a HUGE amount of “datasets whose size is beyond the ability of typical databases software” whilst ‘Internet of Things‘ is simply internet things that are “linking machinery, equipment, and other physical assets with networked sensors and actuators to capture data”. But WHY exactly do we use these? The advancements in Internet of Things serve the purpose to make life easier.
We now have awesome stuff like…
- Sensors and chips that aid medical attention by providing real-time vital signs to self track people with health conditions
- New real time GPS technology that will redirect you to avoid up-to-date traffic alerts
- Sensor shopping to alert you of coupons or deals when you walk past a store
- Even roadways, bridges, buildings and dams are sensored to alert when repair or upgrades is needed
- The Internet now can even alert you to when toilet paper is low in restrooms!
- And lastly, ever wanted to change the TV channel without moving, yet the remote is on the other side of the room? Apps on your phone can now essentially run the house to your comfort without even lifting a foot, such as dimming lights, preheating the oven, running a bath or alerting of fire or gas leaks
All these little gimmicks sound cool right? Yet as they say, nothing is EVER free. Companies and businesses still do have hidden agendas for gifting these new devices and internet activities; it is for the purpose of market research and gaining consumer knowledge.
However it begs the question if, this exposure of consumer information challenges our right of consumers’ privacy. The amount of information being collected unknowingly to the public is extraordinary, and whilst Internet of Things improves daily life and convenience, it is compromising our confidentiality. In a society that is prone to materialistic needs, we are inevitably vulnerable to this constant monitoring and consumer manipulation. We are “willing to trade away their souls for a ‘$1 off’ coupon’”!.
It comes down to when we are willing to draw the line between consumer purchase behaviours and invasion of privacy. Do we want a society with ‘absolutely no privacy’? Bryan Alexander, a senior at the National Institution of Technology, sees the “Younger folks” leading the way into the next technological millennium and it is “our will to create will make us want these devices”.
Has this technological data revolution transitioned to rest solely in our hands?