One of the biggest problem we have in my generation: we don't consider the power we are giving away through our data. And we like and share too much. We don't think about the impact we have on algorithms, we don't understand them. So we are very passive. We don't experiment, manipulate and challenge it.
We are one of the last generations to face this problem, but it is a problem that will follow us until we die, and a problem our grandchildren are going to make fun of us for.
We aren't tech savvy enough, not informed enough about what big data is and how role it plays in the "information share" economy, so we are quick on the "swipe to agree to terms" buttons. And we aren't dumb. Far from it, we know that we are compromising our integrity, yet we''re too lazy to change the structure of the system.
Let me be clear. I don't think companies are evil. In fact I deal with big data of sensitive nature on daily basis. I can tell you that 1) your data is safe, 2) your data is most often made anonymous to both in-house scientists and third party candidates and 3) there are plenty of regulations as to who can use it and see it.
But I must admit, even though I thought that this Spotify ad was funny and creative, it was also a bit alarming and eye-opening.
Data is meant to help product owners and decision makers make better decisions based on the behaviour of the client base/patients, to make life easier for the end user, and to increase revenue. Not to make fun or single out the user.
Since we can't just create our own Spotify, we agree to the terms which clearly state; Spotify has the right to analyse and store your data. To what extent the comical ads are based on actual data is not something I'm familiar with. I truly hope it's made up for comical purposes.
But with a smartphone in each of our hands, and an app for everything from the pills we take to when we do our laundry, somewhere a data scientist knows more about you than your friends and family.
For example.: if I want full and good use of my period tracker, I have to log in with an ID. Sure, pseudo identities can be created with a temporary email adress etc. But how many people have the time or the energy to create an alternate ID for every app they have that stores data? How many individuals have filled in when they've had a good time with their partner on a period tracker app and thought: hey a data scientist somewhere is getting feedback of when I'm getting lucky. When I'm using a condom. When I'm in the mood. Not a lot I guess. But you should.
Data is currency and right now there is an immense inflation because it is consciously given away for free.
As a data scientist I am very enthusiastic about this phenomenon because it gives companies the opportunity to build an economy based on information while creating a large client base through free or relatively cheap apps. As a user, I am excited because I know that my data helps companies improve their services. And I can always refuse to provide data. But I won't because I am stuck in this data economy.
This phenomena however, ends with us. The more tech savvy our society gets, the less dependency we'll have on corporations that build apps to suit our self tracking needs. My two year old won't need Clue. She'll know how to customise her own period tracking app. Companies will have to find effective ways to BUY data. To engage people in to willing to invite a data scientist in to the bedroom or the medicine cabinet.
The revolution is near, and companies better prepare for a generation that values their data and integrity the way we're too lazy to do.
P.S. Please stop LIKING and SHARING. You won't win anything. Ask them for a discount every time you share,. DO IT!