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Is Privacy dead?

Sogeti Labs
October 17, 2016


I started the day in a coffee shop. I got a nice spot with a window right next to me. As I take out my Surface Book and turn it on, in a matter of seconds my face is recognized so I don’t have to use the keyboard to login. A couple of minutes later Cortana reminds me that I have to write this post, so I ask her what’s trending, and of course she pops an Edge window with some interesting news about cybersecurity issues and privacy.

I’m wearing a Microsoft Band, my fingerprints are known by my OnePlus 3 smartphone, Cortana knows where I live and where I work, my favorite team and, just like Amazon, she knows exactly what I like!!! All of those things make my life more comfortable and allow me to focus on more important things, it makes me more “intelligent”. But at what cost?

In cities such as Copenhagen, thanks to a wireless network of streetlamps fitted with sensors it’s possible to go around the city, in bike, avoiding the red lights just by following a string of green lights in the bike path. Some predictions state that by 2020 there will be around 26 billion “things” in the Internet of Things so it’s a fact that sensors are and will be all around us.

So how do we know those street lamps are not recording more than traffic congestion? How can all of us be sure that all this data we feed into the great corporation’s datacenters will not be used against us? What are the trade-offs of this new era?

This week, I attended the Microsoft Summit at Madrid. The message was clear Microsoft is betting on AI as the 4th industrial revolution. Their Azure SaaS offering is incredible and the fact that anybody with a credit card can have access to Machine Learning, Big Data solutions and cognitive services such as face recognition is and will continue to be a driving force for this new era. Other companies such as Apple or Google are working on the same direction.

Therefore, stopping or slowing down IoT, Big Data and AI is out of the picture, so the Important question is, how we can provide the protections we need for our privacy, our security, and our safety?

Cortana just told me I have to go downstairs and pick up my daughter and since it’s almost lunch time she also showed me a selection of restaurants near my location which offer the food we love.

I have to go and while I close the Surface I can’t escape this scary feeling that my privacy is dead.

Blog contributed by Carlos Mendible ( Ex-SogetiLabs Member & Sogeti Employee)

About the author

SogetiLabs gathers distinguished technology leaders from around the Sogeti world. It is an initiative explaining not how IT works, but what IT means for business.


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