Inroads are made and celebrated and then a paradigm shift halts progress. Think about when the world got internet-connected mobile devices. Suddenly we were more connected than ever and less private than ever. Internet of Things (IoT) devices, smart home devices and artificial intelligence (AI) are today’s paradigm shifts. Data is proliferating at mind-boggling speeds—we generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of data a day, and created 90 percent of the world’s data in the past two years. The data privacy issue is now discussed in terms of a crisis.
A 2020 report from The Brookings Institution’s Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technology (AIET) Initiative says, “As artificial intelligence evolves, it magnifies the ability to use personal information in ways that can intrude on privacy interests by raising analysis of personal information to new levels of power and speed.”
And then we have the human factor. Despite knowing the risks to their privacy and safety from leaving their digital exhaust unchecked, many consumers fail to take any sort of remedial action (such as using MySudo). This is known as the privacy paradox, that disconnect between consumer concerns about privacy and their actual actions to protect it. Users can make all sorts of other privacy missteps too, like falling for phishing and other scams, failing to properly secure accounts with strong and unique passwords and 2FA, mishandling sensitive corporate information, and using unsecured Wi-Fi networks. As long as humans are fallible, a comprehensive privacy solution will remain elusive.
In 2020 we made some optimistic but cautionary predictions for privacy out to 2030. We believe the next eight or nine years can bring step change towards a brighter privacy future, but a neat package of solutions tied with a bow, not so much. Any one of the factors at play—
- the data collecting machines and the business models driving them
- consumer rights and expectations
- regulatory advancements
- criminal activity
- corporate social responsibility
- the rise of decentralized identities
- ongoing fallout from COVID-19
—could change the privacy game at any time.
No privacy system is perfect. That’s the basis of compartmentalization as a data (and military) protection strategy: no system is perfect, breaches are always possible, so it’s wise to manage the risk.
So long as change is constant, humans are humans, and capitalism is alive and well, the privacy problem can never be fully solved. And with no airtight privacy solution in sight, consumers won’t have much choice but to protect their own data privacy. Risks to privacy and safety will increasingly become the cost of admission to the digital landscape. And tools like MySudo and the capabilities in Sudo Platform, our business toolkit for rapidly deploying branded privacy and cybersecurity solutions, will thus become essential.