How much information are we giving away through the internet? Geoff Augutis from Queensland Computers talks us through trading privacy for convenience.
If someone told you to get 100 manila folders and, in each of them, print out and place a copy of all of your personal information, what would you do?
Then they ask you to take these portfolios and walk down the main street and hand them to the first 100 people you see.
Not only would you feel uncomfortable and exposed but this may even put you at personal risk.
We are talking things like who you care about, what and where you eat, when you are on holidays and away from your home for a long time, recent expensive purchases you have made, etc.
This activity and these factors are what we are offering out to the world when we are using the internet and more specifically social media.
This isn’t to say that social media and the internet are bad; the idea is only to demonstrate that we as humans are willing to trade our privacy for convenience and being connected.
Most of us like the fact that Facebook reminds our friends of our birthday or that Siri remembers where we live and reminds us of traffic conditions.
Many people would not feel that this is a trade-off and that we aren’t making a conscious choice to donate our privacy, but this is exactly what we are doing.
The world of technology has offered to remove friction from our lives, and in order to help us it needs our personal information.
Looking over the horizon with the mass uptake of speakable technology, this topic will only compound.
If we ask Siri to order us an Uber we want it to know where we are and whether we prefer Uber Black or standard.
When we ask Google to get three pizzas delivered we want it to know what flavours and from which company.
I for one welcome the frictionless transactions and assistance of the future.
However I also believe we should be conscious that it comes at a price beyond the dollar figure.
We are trading privacy for convenience, so let’s make it a conscious choice and not be left unaware.