Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Digital Is About Knowing You Better Than You Know Yourself

For as irrational as a human being can be, the things we buy, the choices we make, the directions we take, are all being gathered in this brave new world through digital technology.  From credit card purchases to web searches, from GPS on our devices to video streaming, our movement, purchases, and other actions are being captured digitally and analyzed.  And with that abundance of information combined with our demographic data, we are being presented with marketing messages and images that may more likely appeal to our interests to watch, engage, consider, and perhaps even purchase.  The aggregate of all this data collected about us may ultimately know more about us than we know ourselves.  Scary, huh!

On the positive note, it means that ads are being customized to more specifically address our needs or appeal to our interests.  Te result, more effective and efficient advertising.  The downside is that we may no longer be anonymous.  We may consciously encourage to be found.  We announce our events, vacations, and other information on Facebook, we share our driving patterns and traffic info with Waze, we use mobile coupons and courtesy cards to get discounts and other savings when we shop.  The rewards are aplenty, but underneath all the positives is that we are trackable, pursued, and analyzed.  Under nefarious circumstances, could we be letting others more easily hack into our lives, steal our financial information, or worse, make it easier to steal our identity. 

Security is never spoken about until after the fact.  A breach of online data at a department store, lost disk drives with credit card information, or worse the theft of social security numbers.  And no matter how much is being done to protect our data, there will always be those seeking to hack into it.  It is the new mobile, digital world that we have entered.  And it will only get more complex.