Privacy vs Progress


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We're at the point where we can't have it both ways anymore. We can't complain about giving up our privacy at the same time that we're loving the technology that comes about as a result of the information we're sharing about ourselves.
The question remains whether we end up in the dystopian 1984/Minority Report world or a more hopeful United Federation of Planets/classic Star Trek future.
My presentation for IgniteNYC #ignitenyc16

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  • I came of age in the cable TV era. It brought us niche networks catering to our interests – science fiction, sports, news – and this was a revelation. Add in VCRs and our world of entertainment had changed forever.
  • Only our cable companies and video rental stores knew our viewing habits (according to what package we subscribed to or videos we borrowed).
  • Our credit card companies knew quite a bit about us – where we shopped and when, what we bought. But we could always pay with cash or a check.
  • Paying tolls was always a pain in the butt, though, scrounging for change, or making sure you had enough tokens. E-Z Pass was a fabulous time-saver.
  • Were we approaching a future where we could pay via a retina scanner or thumbprint? How cool would that be? For sci-fi geeks, it seemed a dream come true.
  • We forgot, however, about the future predicted by writers such as Philip K. Dick and George Orwell. That future with no privacy, where even thoughts could be our undoing.
  • Sure, the tech was amazing and cool. Who didn’t want the wall computer we could swipe through that Tom Cruise used in Minority Report?
  • Then we got our iPhones and iPads and started swiping away. We started buying music by the song instead of album – further segmenting our data.
  • We happily took to Friendster, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare – to each and every new social platform. Abandoning our privacy for a free platform.
  • We became the product. This accelerated the erosion of our privacy. The addition of the Fitbits, Shines, and Fuelbands to our social profiles sped it up even more.
  • But we want to connect all our data. We want to track our fitness. We want to keep track of everywhere we’ve been. We just don’t want marketers to have it.
  • Symantec was able to snag data broadcast by fitness wearables using a $70 Raspberry Pi. Is that data important?
  • We also don’t want those Glassholes taking our photos everywhere and anywhere. But Glass isn’t the only wearable camera.
  • Cancer-detecting bras with 90% accuracy rates remind us of an optimistic, relatively utopian Star Trek future.
  • But if someone hacks the tech that powers that bra, we could find ourselves in Gattaca, where our genetics dictate our future.
  • No matter what security measures are put in place, we are approaching a future where any information will be available to the highest bidder.
  • The gulf between haves and have-nots will widen, where those with money will literally be able to buy more time, and those without will not.
  • The real question is: Can we have the progress we say we want and retain a measure of privacy? I’d like to think the answer is yes. But I don’t know.
  • Tell me what you think. What future will be ours? One of optimism and hope, or a dark dystopian world where privacy is but a distant memory?
  • Privacy vs Progress

    1. 1. VS Can they co-exist in the information age? @AmyVernon #PrivacyVsProgress Privacy photo by Alan Cleaver via Flickr Creative Commons Progress photo by David Ingram via Flickr Creative Commons
    2. 2. This was high technology in the early 1980s. Photo by Alan Light via Flickr Creative Commons
    3. 3. The clerk at the video rental store could have blackmailed some of us. Photo by Lindsey Turner via Flickr Creative Commons.
    4. 4. Some people used to pay with something called “cash”. Photo by Chris Potter via Flickr Creative Commons
    5. 5. Admit it, your friends who didn’t want to use E-Zpass because of privacy concerns sounded like kooks, right? Photo by Lindsay Kinkade via Flickr Creative Commons
    6. 6. Cool, until you saw Tom Cruise get an eye transplant in Minority Report. Photo by Tc Morgan via Flickr Creative Commons Oh, sorry. Spoiler alert.
    7. 7. Sorry for the Eurythmics earworm I just gave to all of you of a certain age. Photo by M1K3Y via Flickr Creative Commons
    8. 8. Admit it – you know you wanted it.
    9. 9. And we got it, albeit a slightly scaled-down version.
    10. 10. Social Media All The Things!! Photo by Jason Howie via Flickr Creative Commons
    11. 11. That’s us. I’m waiting for the BOGO sale. Photo by Jeremy Brooks via Flickr Creative Commons
    12. 12. Data – Not just a Star Trek android longing to be human. Large photo by r2hox via Flickr Creative Commons // Inset photo by puntxote via Flickr Creative Commons
    13. 13. Illustration via Symantec Spoiler: Not very
    14. 14. Narrative Clip takes a photo every 30 seconds and clips onto your clothing. At least you see the Glassholes coming from a mile away
    15. 15. Now that is wearable tech. Photo via First Warning SystemsFacebook page
    16. 16. In the end, who was better off? Ethan Hawke or Jude Law?
    17. 17. But probably only if the highest bidder uses Square. Photo by Tracy O via Flickr Creative Commons
    18. 18. Tell me you wouldn’t want this as your watch, if it actually told time.
    19. 19. Image by Rob Jewitt via Flickr Creative Commons
    20. 20. Still, hope is not completely lost. Image by J. Nathan Matias via Flickr Creative Commons