Tech empowers us in so many ways. It facilitates social interactions, helps us work more efficiently, and enables quicker access to entertainment. It’s difficult now to find someone who doesn’t rely on some form of technology.
But we still aren’t asking enough of tech innovators.
Technology helps us to connect with things in an unprecedented fashion. We can now quickly connect with hundreds of businesses and billions of people. This creates potential for good things to happen (like community building projects, exotic products delivered to your door, and finding the love of your life) but also increases the potential for bad things to happen (like computer viruses, identity theft, and financial theft).
Some connections are initially safer than others. For example, when we interact with other individuals, gathering and storing personal data isn’t a priority. Many (most) companies, on the other hand, take every opportunity to gather our personal data and in such a way that puts our safety at risk. In return for speed and convenience, we let them.
If their corporate security isn’t up to scratch, things like buying broadband and finding dates online end with an experience of one or more of the bad things mentioned above. 2015 saw a large number of high profile hacking cases which resulted in people’s details being stolen and experts predict that the number of attacks will continue to increase.
For business newcomers and tech innovators, this offers an opportunity to stand out against the competition and to gain consumer trust as a force for good: in addition to the mantra of ‘simpler and faster’, they should also be offering ‘safer and fairer’. Safer ways of storing our personal data, and fairer ways of collecting it in the first place.
But this relies on us, and our ability to use the power we have been given as consumers to raise our voices. We should be screaming for more control over how we share our personal details. I think that technology, like the kind we are working on at Yoti, will be the key to achieving this.
Alex Harvey is the Content Manager for Yoti, a digital identity system. Interested in what technology will create in the future, he has a background in working with startups and technology companies.