The Utopian world of Digital Conscience
And why you should care about it right now.
The thing about humanity is that they struggle for years in a very simple task, so hard to achieve: They can't agree on something.
This simple agreement situation lead us to a numerous amount of hard-forks in cultures, societies, and ideas, and it continue to push us to a segregated way of thinking about everything.
And today we are talking about Digital Data, and the impacts of this non-agreement situation over our Online and Offline experience.
So, lets think about it, if you stick the pieces together, you will reach the same conclusion than I, that every single tiny advance movements of our society on the last 20~40 years is based on digital data stored on a database.
And man, who the hell is this Database guy? If its share is so important on the human evolution, we should have been presented to him, right? Like a popstar, like Emma Watson, or popular Youtuber with 1 million subscribers.
Look, i know nothing about the stars, but these Database guys seems to be so relevant to be left aside, and people in my bubble usually don't know a shit about them. Thats why i decided to wrote this article.
But hey, why is this so important, its only stuff for programmers, right?
As a programmer, i know how people underestimate the way how their data is stored.
Now, you tell me, what the importance to give some completely stranger the information about the precise hour you go work or grab you children at school, or knowing what things you are buying, eating and doing in the last 12 months.
Now, imagine all this data in the hands of a real criminal who wants to take advantage on you.
Now its starting to became important right? So the first thing you must understand is that all this information about you is completely spread out over the internet. (perhaps scattered privately, but yet, scattered).
And maybe because this information is scattered, you consider yourself safe.
But you should not, because people and companies who own your data don't give a shit about it (except to send you thousand of useless marketing e-mails that do not aggregate nothing in your life)
So let me introduce you of a concept created by myself:
Digital Conscience is the idea of being aware of all information that companies are collecting about you, regarding your Online Presence, and the Offline presence related to an Omni-channel relation.
Imagine your data as being a floating island in the sea of floating islands. Only you can access your island, and no one more, except with your concern.
In a Digital Conscience Utopia world, and i really struggling myself to think outside the programmers bubble, the following things would be true:
- You are the only owner of your data.
- Companies who want to use your data must ask your permission.
- Your personal data cannot be digital replicated elsewhere unless its disassociated from you in a certain level that don't jeopardise your data control (like Bitcoin transactions).
- Each interaction channel must individually ask your permission in order to store your actions and events.
- Data generated through your omni-channel experience have to be informed to you, and you should have an instant standardised copy of all this data. This copy have to be send to your Data Repository, and cannot be offered by the company infra-structure.
- You can deny access to any part of your data anytime, for any company.
- And maybe other rules i forgot
Companies should be thinking seriously about Digital Conscience, because its one of those things that make people happy, knowing you are actually care about them, and not acting like a fucking parasite that only wants to extract more and more data in your Google Analytics to use it in your favor and earn money.
We are talking about applying Digital Conscience in the WAY we do things, which lead us to GDPR: (https://eugdpr.org/)
In the the last months GDPR have done a really nice work enforcing compliance for rules regarding to Digital Conscience. It forced hundreds of companies to literally implement a new area on the customers profile Dashboards where Customers itself could actually control the state of the Data hold by the given company.
Thats amazing, and of course its a beginning, but GDPR is far from achieving Digital Conscience. Look at this Checklist of things you need to do in order to be GDPR compliance:
What they missed, is that Digital Conscience can not be simply implied to companies. They have to be a requirement for real Customers, which will not buy your product if you are not thinking about how you handle customer data.
Digital Conscience have to follow its natural course, growing not in the Government control, or companies, but in the Hearts and Minds of users like you and me. Its reminds me of Distributed infrastructures like Blockchain, Diaspora, and Torrents, where everything have access to everything, but only access is not always enough to actually misuse the data and hurt the data privacy.
And where do i think it starts? First with you, and later with the big ones (Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon, of course)
Look, i don't like this situation neither, but companies i know are definitively fully sold to the services of these 4 giants.
These small companies, like the giants, were not born with the Digital Conscience, and are too blind on its own bubble to put the head out and start to question the tools they are using to store data.
Simplifying, they will not stop using Google Analytics because it does not give you granular control of the data they are storing about you. (and because its a shitty tool implemented by lazy programmers)
They will only do it, if money, performance or lack of data is become a question.
And its a natural movement, we know, take years to happens.
But while it doesn't happens, its good for us to read more about this subject and think more about your data.
And hey, im not saying that you should delete Instagram, and close your Facebook account to become that Internet hermit that search using DuckDuckGo and pay its own server to avoid using Gmail, im just saying, that you and i should think about that more often that we currently do.
Hope I touched your heart :)