In the aftermath of whistleblower Edward Snowden and the ongoing press coverage of the National Security Association’s (NSA) clandestine surveillance program, the political ramifications of all of the above remain uncertain. What is apparent, however, is the immediate, collective increase in awareness of just how much data we “give away” every day online, and how that data is used by organizations—government and business alike—for their benefit.
Many business leaders and marketers are wondering how a resurgence of consumers attempting to regain their privacy will affect innovation in the global economy. While there is a clear relationship—and now a growing tension—between innovations that rely on consumer data and the protection of consumer privacy, there may be compromises to consider that are amenable to both the innovator and the consumer.
In the quest for progress, companies continue to explore how technology can interpret consumer data to improve our quality of life. For example, Google continues to push boundaries with its latest invention, Google Glass, designed to display information in a smartphone-like hands-free format and interact with the Internet via natural language voice commands (see video below).
But with this new breakthrough comes increased concerns. Recently, eight members of the House Privacy Caucus sent a letter to Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page concerning the privacy aspects of Google Glass—and for good reason. The new Google Glass technology exposes anyone in the path of a Google Glass wearer to unauthorized photography and monitoring. Unfortunately, the lines are becoming increasingly blurred between using big data to improve our lives and intruding upon our privacy.