The Digital Age is Here! But has it come at a cost…

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…

Watch the potential of ‘Internet of Things’ has planned for the Future

  • 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.

Blog 3.5

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?

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4 thoughts on “The Digital Age is Here! But has it come at a cost…

  1. Hi there!

    Great blog post, I definitely have a greater understanding into ‘Big Data’ and the ‘Internet of Things’. I couldn’t agree more that these new data collection methods are compromising our confidentiality. But do you think there is a way of monitoring or even reducing the security risks?

    On the flip side, such advancement in technology is exciting and provides numerous opportunities for marketers as the data allows for personalised messages, enhancing the overall consumer experience – something McDonald’s was successful in accomplishing over in the US (http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20141218005195/en/McDonald%E2%80%99s-Customers-Treated-Dining-Experience-Piper-Beacon)

    Overall, I think this technological data revolution has come to rest in our hands, but it is a revolution that isn’t going to happen overnight. Initially it’s a matter of using the data wisely, developing programs and figuring out how everything will be able to function together seamlessly. What do you think?

    Thanks for an interesting read!

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    1. Thanks for the comment georgieobrien, some really good points added to this conversation. Yes I do think there are ways to reduce the security risks by keeping your own identity and privacy safe through either not filling in all your social media information, not sharing your social security number online, turning on private browsing or even lying on your security questions will prevent exposure. This Tech Time article outlines some very interesting tips in maintaining your private information. http://techland.time.com/2013/07/24/11-simple-ways-to-protect-your-privacy/

      In terms of monitoring, this would be harder as a rule of thumb, once you place something online, it is there forever in some form. So to begin with I suggest to always be careful and conscientious with what you post or similarly you can set up a Google alert for your name.

      But saying that, for sure it is still important to advance with the data revolution as this is inevitable, it is rather a matter of keeping our security and privacy programs developing at the same or faster rate than the spread of personal data channels.

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  2. Great article Jackson, the applications of big data from the embedded video are interesting to say the least! The privacy issues going forward with all of our data, past and present available at the click of a button is concerning for reasons other than just being a marketing target. I’m interested to hear your thoughts on whether or not you think going forward there is such a possibility of online anonymity and privacy, or if as consumers we’ve given it up already.

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  3. Good question sdc123marketing, thats hard to say as everyday many sites such as Google or a lot of banks sites are continuing to update their security policies in order to protect our personal details. So in regards to online privacy I do believe they are attempting to manage our online anonymity and privacy. However in saying this, to a certain extent, I think we have already lost much of our privacy as sites and apps that use our ‘current location’ and save our personal details do have this information which once is on the net, cannot be taken back. Inevitably, it is up to us to chose how far and how much we project our social and personal anonymity online. Do you agree?

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