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Big Surprise! – There will be no Privacy in the Future, and IoT is Part of the Problem!

02.17.15

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Pew research report “The Future of Privacy” indicated by 2025 that 55% of the 2,211 respondents no one should really expect any privacy and that the IoT (Internet of Things) will make things worse. Here are the themes reported on December 18, 2014 by those surveyed that there will not be a widely accepted privacy infrastructure by 2025 including IoT:

1) Living a public life is the new default. It is not possible to live modern life without revealing personal information to governments and corporations. Few individuals will have the energy or resources to protect themselves from ‘dataveillance’; privacy will become a ‘luxury.’

2) There is no way the world’s varied cultures, with their different views about privacy, will be able to come to an agreement on how to address civil liberties issues on the global Internet.

3) The situation will worsen as the Internet of Things arises and people’s homes, workplaces, and the objects around them will ‘tattle’ on them. The incentives for businesses to monetize people’s data and governments to monitor behavior are extremely potent.

4) Some communities might plan and gain some acceptance for privacy structures, but the constellation of economic and security complexities is getting bigger and harder to manage.

Among the 2,551 respondents to the survey was “a father of the Internet” Vint Cerf (Google vice president and chief Internet evangelist) who made these comments:

The public will become more sophisticated about security and safety.

They will demand much more transparency of the private sector and, especially, their governments. Privacy conventions will evolve in online society—violations of personal privacy will become socially unacceptable.

Of course, there will be breaches of all these things, but some will be accompanied by serious social and economic downsides and, in some cases, criminal charges.

By 2025, people will be much more aware of their own negligent behavior, eroding privacy for others, and not just themselves. The uploading and tagging of photos and videos without permission may become socially unacceptable.

As in many other matters, the social punishment may have to be accompanied by legislation—think about seat belts and smoking by way of example.

We may be peculiarly more tolerant of lack of privacy, but that is just my guess.

As far as I can tell no surprises in Pew’s report, what do you think?

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