Here is a quick thought. As I have previously said, I think we are moving from the age of the printing press into the age of the algorithm. Printing led to the growth of censorship whereas algorithms are going to lead to the growth of sensorship.
I was prompted to write this today because of the announcement that one of the UK’s largest electronic goods retailers is linking up with one of the UK’s largest mobile phone retailers. Electronic goods are basically forms of sensor that monitor human behaviour via how they are used (note: there are now even cameras in Barbie dolls). Mobile phone retailers basically sell connection to the internet and also provide mobile handsets, which are the most comprehensive form of personal sensor currently out there. I heard the CEO of the new company on Radio 4’s Today programme make no bones about the fact that the underlying logic behind the deal was the growth in The Internet of Things (with electronic things being the most obvious and easy of such things to connect to the internet).
We are just at a start of a form of data detection landgrab – the Scramble for Data if you like. Continue reading