Watch this great talk by marketing executive Gary Chase on Big Data, it's implications, and what it means for Humans at TEDx
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
(The Big Disrupt) Predictive Analytics: "Hotspots" and "Heat Lists" or the Future of Modern Policing Right Now and Later
Much has been written by us at The Big Disrupt about why Big Data and the Internet of Things will enable the largest and most comprehensive data grab in the history the species which is terrifying but the development that scares us the most is that it will makes humans easier to predict which is great for governments and corporations but not so much for Joe public who’s already tracked, watched, and monitored at every turn.
We could write a whole book on how problematic predictive analytics can be particularly when used to combat crime (some concerns we’ll cover later) but, like any a good Kantian will tell you, it’s always wise to criticize things according to their limits. Predictive analytics can tell us much about crime from where it most frequents and who’s most likely to fall victim to a crime but to a certain degree police departments everywhere and the public at large know who is most likely to fall victim to crime: the poor and vulnerable. Predictive analytics may help police departments protect people most likely to fall victim to crime but what it can’t address, or more to point, what it’s not designed to address, is why such people are more likely to fall victim to crime in the first place.
Predictive analytics, like many modern technologies, cannot address social problems but it can address inefficiencies in processes that can address social problems but not directly. For example, predictive analytics may inform police departments where a crime is likely to take place and allow them send units to potentially stop crimes but this scenario is likely to reveal department and officer biases as it’s likely that units will engulf poorer areas that usually have a less than cordial relationship with police departments and their officers in the first place.
This runs into another problem with predictive analytics, what is actually being analyzed. Predictive analytics is good at parsing through large datasets but not so much at identifying department attitudes and tactics used towards certain neighborhoods. Because of this, what predictive analytics is most likely to reveal is not only where and when crime is likely to be committed but the biases of departments and their officers, the not so flattering socio-economic and historical make up of a city, and the inability of predictive analytics interpret the effect of both factors have on the data it analyzes.
Another limitation of predictive analytics being used to fight crime is that it won’t make departments or officers any better at dealing with the public especially innocent members of the public who live in areas deemed as “hotspots” by predictive analytics. This is a very important point as the last few weeks and months have shown, arming cops with data that will most likely buttress their already deep set biases towards certain groups and areas can and will have deadly consequences.
In sum, the all too social dynamics of crime are more complicated than the useful but limited answers predictive analytics can provide which is concerning as predictive analytics is in some respects already informing policing decisions that clearly neglect the complexities police officers are neither empowered or equipped to deal with or the technology itself can even recognize.
We’ve always subscribe to the view that the most interesting thing about any technology is why it is being implemented at any particular time and the implications that come with it and predictive analysis is no different. While companies like IBM and Microsoft (both invested to predictive analytics) would point to the great returns in crime prevention and other efficiencies, the truth is that while predictive analytics requires a serious investment in software, hardware, hiring and training, it can and mostly likely will in the future lead to a drastic cull of cops on the beat. Police work for the most part will become technocratic but at the same time simpler as cops will likely follow crime hotspot maps that highlight where certain crimes take place and simply wait for something to happen.
This might not seem like much of a problem but just imagine the sight of cops just hanging around where you live waiting for a crime to take place just because their predictive analytics software deemed your area a “hotspot” for a certain type of crime or crime in general. While we’ve already cited the potential of predictive analytics serving as a confirmation of departmental biases, we must also consider that decisions by cops in the field can and will be influenced by predictive analytics. For example, cops are more likely to prepare for hostility in areas where crime takes place more often than areas that rarely have instances of crime according to data provided by predictive analytics.
This may seem like an obvious observation but given that cops have the power of arrest and are armed, information that confirms or even creates new biases among officers before they even engage with members of the public can prove problematic. Cops in certain areas are likely to ask otherwise innocent members of the public for information or conduct stop and search procedures due to the perceived prolific nature of crime in certain areas and the proximity of residents in that area to it.
The scenario above may already sound familiar to anybody who lives in an area with a reputation and that’s because, to a certain extent, crime fighting is already a data driven enterprise. A key reason why predictive analytics is being used by law enforcement in the first place is due to the vast amount of data departments collect and need to interpret in order to combat crime. Another key reason why there has been an almost widespread embrace of the application of predictive analytics in a number of police organizations across the US and elsewhere is that departments are facing budget constraints and thus are forced to operate under what has to be the most depressing creed of the modern age: doing more with less.
Even in the widely cited success stories of predictive analytics bringing crime down, the reasons why local departments invested in predictive analytics revealed an awful lot more than its impressive results. In The City of Lancaster in California, forced to “do more with less” in light of sharp budget cuts and had to “deploy resources more efficiently”, made an investment in predictive analytic systems that helped yield an excellent 35% reduction in “ part 1” crimes in 2010 and 40% in 2011. These numbers are impressive and have served as an effective sales script for IBM (the numbers used above were cited from a IBM case study by Nucleus Research) trumpeting the effectiveness of predictive analytics to police organizations across the US and overseas.
James Slessor, Accenture’s Managing director of Accenture Police services, pretty much made the same points that IBM are making as he cited another success story in California among others this time in Santa Cruz where law enforcement “applied predictive analytics to burglary data in order to identify the streets at greatest risk – it resulted in a 19 per cent drop in property theft without the need for additional officers”.
In both instances, Accenture and IBM are in effect selling predictive analytics systems not only as an effective tool in fighting crime, which it may well prove to be, but as an efficiency measure to deal with cuts to budgets and resources which is not a bad thing but this is hardly the most noble motivation driving a revolution in how police work is done in 21st century.
So far we’ve largely focused on predictive analytics being used by departments to predict where and when certain crimes happen but, in truth, the most concerning thing is not so much how the technology is used to fight crimes in cities but how it can and is being used against people. We’ve already mentioned that we are the most watched, tracked and monitored age in the history of the species and predictive analytics will ensure we will be the easiest to predict. Police organizations are already using predictive analytics against criminals as Computerworld reported back in October that the Metropolitan Police Service ran a project with Accenture that “merged data from the Met’s various crime reporting and intelligence systems and applied predictive analytics, generating risk scores on the likelihood of known individuals committing violent crimes”.
While you might not lose sleep over police units using predictive analytics against “known” criminals, how easy would you sleep if a police commander came to your front door and warned you that they’ve got their eye on you because, as The Verge Matt Stroud reported, your name cropped up on “an index of the roughly 400 people in the city of Chicago supposedly most likely to be involved in violent crime” predictably termed a “heat list”.
I don’t know your tolerance regarding invasions of your privacy but it surely sent shivers up Stroud’s spine who gave his article a provocative title that speaks loudly to many of the points quietly made in this piece.
In sum, predictive analytics can and will play a major role in how crime is fought in cities in the 21st century and beyond but with concerns about it’s potential to confirm or create new biases, compromise individuals’ right to privacy and the motivations and interests driving this push towards analytics, the need for pause must be met with a sober debate about what predictive analytics means for the public as well as law enforcement.
 Nucleus Research, 2012, ROI Case Study IBM SPSS City of Lancaster, http://public.dhe.ibm.com/common/ssi/ecm/yt/en/ytl03131usen/YTL03131USEN.PDF
 Accenture, 2012, Smarter Policing, http://www.accenture.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/PDF/Accenture-Smarter-Policing.pdf
 C.Jee, 2014, Met Police pilot analytic tool to fight gang crime, http://www.computerworlduk.com/news/public-sector/3582701/met-police-pilots-analytics-tool-to-fight-gang-crime/
 M. Stroud, 2014, The Minority Report: Chicago’s New Police Computer Predict Crime, But is it racist?, http://www.theverge.com/2014/2/19/5419854/the-minority-report-this-computer-predicts-crime-but-is-it-racist
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Watch The Fight Network chop it up with UFC Light Heavyweight champ Jon"Bones"Jones and contender Daniel "DC" Cormier as the fierce rivals talk about their January 3rd grudge match.
Monday, December 29, 2014
Saturday, December 27, 2014
There are many problems you come across as an independent freelancer or agency from demanding clients to actually finding clients in the first place but the worst problem and the most common is poor scoping which allows a project to grow in scope or for developers and designers to lose scope of the project altogether which leads to bad outcomes for freelancers and their clients.
There are many reasons why this happens but one of the most common reasons why this happens is failing to keep track of the project scope in the first place and with excellent web apps like Brainleaf, freelancers and agencies everywhere will never have to worry about losing scope of their projects ever again.
Brainleaf, built by developers and designers for developers, designers, and freelancers everywhere, aim to eliminate the scourge of losing scope of a project with their excellent solution that allows you manage every aspect of the project making you never lose sight of of a project ever again.
Brainleaf allows for major project issues such as scope and pricing be managed under one roof. Their solution also allows you to customize billings and hours while allowing you to keep track of your budget. Brainleaf also allows you to manage projects with ultimate ease allowing you break down a project into individual tasks using Brainleaf’s Task Manager feature. You can also assign this task to members of your team and make them billable to your client. Brainleaf also allows you to upload and store files from images to wireframes all under one roof.
In sum, BrainLeaf is a great solution for freelancers and agencies everywhere allowing you to manage the most important commodities to any business: time, people, and money effectively and efficiently and with minimum fuss or cost as try Brainleaf excellent solutions for free.
Thursday, December 25, 2014
first of all, we wish you a merry Christmas and a very happy and prosperous new year. 2014 was a great year for us and we plan to make 2015 even better with even more coverage of TV movies, sports and tech.
In 2015 we look to add more segments to the blog in lieu of the success of The Big Disrupt which has quickly become one of our best performing segments of the blog. We always want to be better and expect us get better as we plan improvement to make our site more accessible for you guys.
This blog is yours as well as it is ours so if you want to see changes in the blog and our coverage let us know in our new comments section get in contact with us using our contact page. If you want to write for us, send us news tips or stories we should cover, send an email to us and we'll check it out
We're already planning for a great 2015 that will improve on the gains we've made so far.
Thanks for all our support so far and going forward.
The Carnage Report
Saturday, December 20, 2014
Watch the interesting and tense first official trailer for the drama "Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter" set to be released next year.
The ongoing Sony hack controversy shined a light on many things including Sony executives on Hollywood stars, their movie schedule and, to a certain extent, how the movie industry works but what stuck out like a sore thumb is just how bad Sony Pictures sucked at securing their own data.
Bereft of solid access controls or any classification of the data they had, Sony was hit hard by the hack but if even the most minor and common sense data security measures were implemented, the company wouldn't still be reeling from the email leaks that have been producing headlines for the last two weeks.
However, what’s interesting and terrifying is that Sony’s lax security practices are widespread. Sony suffered because sensitive data such as social security numbers could be found in a number of files that were available to too many employees but other companies are just as susceptible to similar breaches as according to a survey carried out by the Ponemon Institute revealed that an incredible 71% of employees felt by that had access “to data they should not see” and 54% said that “this access is frequent or very frequent”.
Why Sony like breaches haven’t more is sheer luck however as companies continually drop the ball when it comes to data security as hackers have had a good 2014 targeting breaching companies data security according to the Identity theft Resource Center “with more than 81 million records compromised”. Companies love giving the hackers the credit for becoming smarter and better but the truth is that companies, especially the larger ones, suck so bad at data security it’s justified to query whether they’re being this negligible of their security on purpose.
In Sony pictures case, the answer is resounding yes. Sony’s ridiculous poor data access controls go back as far as 2005 when an auditor told Jason Spaltro, Sony Pictures then executive director of information (now currently serving as the company’s senior vice president of information security), that “Sony had several security weaknesses, including insufficiently strong access controls, which is a key Sarbanes-Oxley requirement”.The auditor also revealed to Splatro that “the passwords Sony employees were using did not meet best practice standards that called for combinations of random letters, numbers and symbols”.
Upon listening to the audtior’s recommendation in making the passwords stronger at the company, Splatro pointed out that complicated passwords that are hard to remember will lead to employees “writing them down on sticky notes and post them on the monitors. And how secure would that be?”.
While you may think that Splatro had a point that people would write down and put them in a place they’ll remember it, keep in mind that Spaltro at the time was the executive director of information security and it’s his job to take all steps to make sure breaches don’t happen. Also keep in mind that as an IT executive at the company he also has to make sure that every dollar spent is cost effective which, in most cases, means a lot of companies will nickel and dime when it comes to data security despite the risks.
IT executives also have to comply with a bevy of domestic and international laws and regulations and complying to all of them is very expensive and time consuming. Because of this, IT executives like Spaltro have to keep conscious of the bottom line and even decide if some laws or regulations are worth following as CIO’s Alan Holmes explains:
“How to (or, for some CIOs, even whether to) follow regulations is neither a simple question with a simple answer nor a straightforward issue of following instructions. This makes it more an exercise in risk management than governance. Often, doing the right thing means doing what’s right for the bottom line, not necessarily what’s right in terms of the regulation or even what’s right for the customer”
Now taking all this into consideration, look back at Spaltro’s discussion with the auditor and you’ll see that he’s trying to avoid the arduous task of keeping in lock step of Sarbanes Oxley in the noble pursuit of minimizing the hit to the company’s bottom line. In short, what happens is that IT executives, charged with keeping data secure, have to fudge on data security as “when business metrics are applied to compliance, many companies decide to deploy as little technology or process as possible—or to ignore the governing laws and regulations completely”.
What this means in practice is that companies look for cheapest or less strenuous security practices and measure the risk against being caught out. This dangerous game being played by companies with their own data security is reprehensible but to a certain degree inevitable.
The job of the IT executive has always been difficult but in the last few years, the job of the modern IT executive has become spectacularly more complicated with advent of the cloud, big data, and the internet of things and the myriad of security issues that surround all three has made the CIO’s jobs so demanding that new roles such as the chief security officer have been created to chip in to deal with the nightmare that has become modern data security.
Even back in 2006 the demands put on IT executives were excessive as they were tasked with “running projects, innovating, keeping the lights on and putting out those ever-smoldering IT fires—that they simply don’t have the time to decipher the laws that affect them, much less the time to invest in reconfiguring systems and processes to meet regulatory requirements”.
To give a flavor of how difficult it is to keep up with all the laws and regulations related to data security, consider how difficult it was for IT departments to keep up with one as back in 2006 “IT organizations…(spent) between 5,000 and 20,000 man hours a year trying to stay compliant with Sarbanes-Oxley’s requirements”.
Consider that Splatro had to meet with people from Sony’s legal and human resources departments as well as outside security auditors just to find out “what Sox compliance means”. Considering that Sony Pictures is an entertainment company and not a bank, it makes sense that they would have come to the conclusion that Sarbanes-Oxley meant and awful lot less to them than it would to a bank but, as the last few weeks have proved, as hackers could care less about what data security laws and regulations means to either.
So far, we’ve focused on what Sony’s poor data security practices but if only they were the only company risking data breaches. This is indeed a worldwide problem as it seems no matter what the field, all companies converge in poor data security as 665 million customers (that means you and me) were affected by data breaches in 2013.
With numbers like these, Prakash Panjwani, president and CEO of SafeNet, may cite a survey that says that 65% of adults in the US, UK, Germany, Japan and Austrailia “would never, or were very unlikely to, shop or do business again with a company that had experienced a data breach” but Panjwani knows full well that if this was true these people would have make an extraordinary commitment to living off the lay of the land (which is not as idyllic as it sounds) and making an awful lot of in person cash transactions (which in this “cashless society” we’re being frogmarched into, is nearly impossible) as data breaches, or data breach attempts, are a daily occurrence for way too many companies.
If the incompetence of companies in dealing with data security are bad, their solutions, especially in reaction to data breaches, aren’t much better. Target, in reaction to a large data breach that included the loss of 4o million credit card details and 7o million of the personal information of their customers, hired their first CISO (Chief information Security Officer) which was seen by experts as a forward but concerns quickly propped up when Target made CISO position subordinate to the CIO. What this means is that the CISO won’t be an equal to the CIO and be able to report to the CEO directly. The CISO would have to make his arguments for expenditures on security through the CIO, who has his own agenda and is often under pressure to produce on IT projects, which could make the CISO’s security recommendations an afterthought.
This scenario could easily lead to conflict within the organization as the CISO can find his interests, at Target at least, marginalized by his boss, the CIO. Appointments to deal with security issues in the company may seem like a good idea but it’s clearly going to take more than that. Target just suffered a major data breach that is still facing backlash from and it will take a serious reappraisal of its data security practices and this can’t be done when the chief security executive at the company is subordinate to the CIO who may see security as key interest but, as examples above have shown, isn’t their only concern.
However ill-advised it is to have the CISO subordinate to the CIO, at least the appointment an CISO is better than what they had before when the responsibility for security was spread across the organization rather than under one roof. This is why when the company’s point of sale system were compromised causing the breach, Beth Jacobs, Target’s former CIO, it’s highly likely that she didn’t know about it until it was too late and paid the price with her job.
This incompetence companies have securing their data, never mind ours, will only get worse as increasingly things are run on networked systems, systems that hacked and made vulnerable. As explored earlier, An obscene amount of pressure is placed on CIO’s and CISO’s in not only securing these systems, but ensuring they meet business needs and are cost effective which is no mean feat.
In sum, the answer as to why so many companies suck at data security is not as simple as it sounds in one sense but in another it quite elementary. Due to most modern companies becoming data driven organizations and many processes outsourced to networked systems, this put a lot of pressure on IT executives who have so far shown it’s proving too much. Added to that they have negotiate a myriad of data protection laws and regulations across a number of states, IT departments have had to play fast and loose with data security and have paid the price in treasure and much more and if past behavior is any reliable indicator for future behavior, expect more stories like Sony’s and Targets to become the norm.
 G. Press, 2014, Sony Is Not The Only Company With Subpar Data Security, New Survey Finds, http://www.forbes.com/sites/gilpress/2014/12/09/sony-is-not-the-only-company-with-subpar-data-security-new-survey-finds/
 A. Holmes, 2007, Your Guide to Good Enough Compliance, http://www.cio.com/article/2439324/risk-management/your-guide-to-good-enough-compliance.html
 P. Panjwani, 2014, In Data Security We (Lost) Trust, http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/technology/226981-in-data-eecurity-we-lost-trust
 M. Shacklett, 2014, A former CIO’s take on Target CIO resigning after massive data breach, http://www.techrepublic.com/article/a-former-cios-take-on-target-cio-resigning-after-massive-data-breach/
Friday, December 19, 2014
For a corporation involved in art of visual storytelling, I’m pretty sure nobody in at Sony Pictures entertainment would have dreamed up the nightmare last couple weeks the company has been having that somehow continues to get worse with every leak. Sony isn’t the only company that’s been hacked like this but there hasn’t been so many revelations to the point that it says something not only about the company and the individuals involved but an whole industry.
The nightmare began on the 24th of November after the company’s computer networks was hacked by a group that call itself “Guardians of Peace” that subsequently threatened to expose the company with the data they took claiming “We have obtained all your internal data including secrets and top secrets".
And since then the company has been reeling from one embarrassing email leak to another as Sony Pictures executives got caught talking smack about movie stars and making racially loaded jokes about the president’s taste in films. The person at the center of the leaks was Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal whose communications with stars and conversations with fellow movie executives have generated headlines since the hack last month.
The hacked emails have given us an unwarranted insight on the industry and some extent how it works but they also have given us and insight into some A-listers and how they much they differ to their public persona. On the 14th, the Independent reported that the hacked email revealed that George Clooney, a man who is the picture of male self-assurance, lost sleep over less than complimentary reviews “Monuments Men”. Clooney, in an private email back in January under Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal, revealed his need for “protection from all reviews”
Some of the leaks have been relatively benign as some have revealed the studios’ movie making plans such as its intention to resurrect the successful Ghostbusters franchise with actor Channing Tatum and Chris Pratt. The emails revealed Tatum’s keenness for the project as he saw that the once successful franchise could be as big as the Christopher Nolan directed “Dark Knight Trilogy” was for Batman.
However, while the hacks have been an embarrassing episode for the company as a whole, it seems the crisis is only getting worse as Sony made the decision to cancel the release of “The Interview” starring Seth Rogen and James Franco which includes a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong un after a threat was issued against the release of the film by the hackers. Their decision to cancel the films’ Christmas release was met with widespread disproval among the public, media and Hollywood to the point that even the president stepped into the debate to register his disagreement with their decision.
Almost everybody saw their decision as a cowardly move in lieu of a threat many think can’t or won’t be carried out even if they did release the film due to the suspicion that the hacks were carried out by North Korea. Many stars, George Clooney, Judd Apatow, Rob Lowe and Mia Farrow among them, publicly registered their distaste for Sony’s position. Sony Pictures was clearly trying to avoid the situation worse but with the embarrassing emails and the widespread vocal disagreement with their decision, It’s hard to see how they going to get any business done anytime soon as both controversies have alienated a number of Hollywood stars they work with.
However, what’s galling about the whole debacle is not what it revealed about Hollywood or even the company’s strategy or dealings, which is bad enough, but that the hack and the subsequent leaks could have been prevented with better security practices.
This is why the company is facing even more backlash in the form of former employees who plan to sue Sony for failing to safeguard their personal data. Among the embarrassing email exchanges, salary details, and planned movie releases was the release of the personal information of the companies employees including their “Social Security numbers and birth dates of employees as well as information about medical conditions”.
All companies are different but where they all converge is how bad they are securing their own data and Sony was especially bad given that the social security numbers of Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chair and CEO were found in 104 and 93 files respectively. This is why while 47,000 social security numbers were leaked, more than a million copies were available in the files hacked by the Guardians of peace. The company was especially careless with its access controls to such sensitive data as the “multiple copies of data this sensitive on multiple employees' computers or multiple times on a single employee's computer is unusual and dramatically raises a company's security risk”.
In sum, the last few weeks have been a complete nightmare but most terrifying thing for the not so good people at Sony is that the leaks keep coming and with the company’s abysmal handling of the crisis so far, things will almost surely get worse.
 BBC News, 2014, Sony Pictures Computer systems Hacked in online attack, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-30189029
 K. Dutta, 2014, George Clooney ‘loses sleep’ over bad reviews, hacked Sony emails reveal, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/news/george-clooney-loses-sleep-over-negative-reviews-hacked-sony-emails-reveal-9924118.html
 L. Boyle, 2014, Sony Hacked Emails Reveal plans for revived Ghostbusters Franchise Starring Channing Tatum and Chris Pratt, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2876234/Sony-hacked-emails-reveal-plans-Ghostbusters-franchise-Channing-Tatum-Chris-Pratt.html
 K. Zetter, 2014, Former Employees Sue Sony over epic hack scandal, http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-12/17/former-employees-sue-sony
 S. Musil, 2014, Sony Hack leaked 47,000 Social Security Numbers, Celebrity data, http://www.cnet.com/uk/news/sony-hack-said-to-leak-47000-social-security-numbers-celebrity-data/
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Watch the first official trailer for thriller "The Loft" starring James Marsden and Wentworth Miller set to be released in the new year.
Monday, December 15, 2014
Check out this great London Real interview with blogger and author Jamie Bartlett and London Real founder and host Brian Rose.
(The Big Disrupt) The Internet of Things: The internet of Things and Creepification of Modern Marketing
We’re already the most watched generation in the history of the species and now with the advent of the Internet of Things (IOT), we will be the most tracked, monitored and potentially the most predictable batch of human beings to walk the earth as “things” get smarter, IOT enabled devices proliferate and companies get better at interpreting the vast amount of data produced by the technology.
Everybody knows that besides making a dime, the most important priority of any business if it wants to stay in business is to know it’s customers but with the advent of IOT and its by product Big Data, companies are going to know little more about their customers than they would be comfortable with.
At Uniliever, it’s CMO Keith Weed’s job to make sure the company never loses sight of its customers and thanks to IOT and the data it produces they’ll never have to as Weed at an event boasted “We can tell by a person's location if they are walking in a park and then if it is a hot day, we can direct them to the nearest place to buy a Magnum with a coupon – these are things we can already do now”.
Weed’s glee about being able to read into his company’s customers a little bit too well should trigger concern but consider iProspect’s CEO Chris Whitelaw’s answer when asked how would IOT enabled wearables would affect his business:
“Through access to data about your environment, a wearable device can anticipate and interpret intent. For example, in the near future your wearable will know that you are hungry on your way home and that your fridge is out of food, so search will suggest a local takeaway. The device might even know your favourite food based on past searches or purchases. By gaining a deeper and richer insight into the customers’ environment and state of mind, it’s possible for a brand to meet the immediate needs and desires of consumers”
While you might argue that Weed and Whitelaw are doing their jobs and IOT allows companies to meet the needs of their customers more efficiently, it’s more than fair to question whether it’s OK that a company can track your location and suggest purchases in the noble pursuit of telling you the best place to get a popsicle, trying to feed you when you’re hungry or even if the know that you’re hungry in the first place. In a way we already have the answer to question as almost all modern tech companies are built on this creepy model of customer engagement.
This super creepy model of customer engagement prevails is because modern companies, whether they like it or not, have become data driven organizations and with the advent of IOT, this creepifcation of modern marketing only get worse as data pools expand and “things” get smarter.
Organizations everywhere are looking to get a better read on their customers and this creates a major headache as the expanding pools of data produces a strong demand for talent that can analyze the data but also make sense of the data in a way that meets the needs of the business in real time, particularly the customer facing organs of the operation. So far, companies have struggled pitifully to source people to take on this highly difficult task and will continue to do so in the new year as according to research carried out by Accenture “the United States is projected to create nearly 39,000 new jobs for analytics experts through 2015, but will only be able to fill 23 percent of those roles with qualified candidates” .
Another issue cropping up with the advent of the Internet of Things is the pressure the technology puts on chipmakers to produce chips that can deal with vast reams of data produced by IOT enabled devices which will only get worse as a Gartner study project that “26 billion IoT units will be installed by the year 2020, generating $300 billion in revenue” .
So with the advent of IOT putting a strain on the HR and IT departments across the board, why do these companies seem so enthusiastic about IOT? The answer is dead simple: the opportunity IOT provides is too great to neglect. Companies simply cannot miss out on being a part of the revolution that IOT will enable: making human beings easier to read and thus easier to predict.
The biggest problem about the examples Weed or Whitelaw mentioned is not the privacy concerns (which are obvious) but that Weed, Whitelaw, and companies they work for, thanks to the data they have at their disposal, can manipulate customers into a purchase they wouldn’t have made without prompting. You could argue this is the whole premise of advertising but advertisers and marketers across the board have never had so much information on their customers to the point they can anticipate their next move or, to a certain extent, cause them.
In sum, expect the creepification modern marketing and indeed modern life to get worse as quite simply there’s too much of an upside should companies manage the organizational changes and skill demands created by the vast reams of data that will inundate companies because of IOT. What this means for us is a greater intrusion into our lives on an unprecedented level and I don’t know about you but I’m of the thinking that finding the nearest place a get a magnum (or anything else for a matter) at the expense of my privacy is not a good tradeoff.
J. Davies, 2013, Big Data is transforming mobile opportunities, says Unilever CMO Keith Weed http://www.thedrum.com/news/2013/02/26/big-data-transforming-mobile-opportunities-says-unilever-cmo-keith-weed
 The Drum, 2014, Q&A with iProspect CEO Chris Whitelaw: search innovation, internet of things and wearables impact on search, http://www.thedrum.com/news/2014/11/26/qa-iprospect-ceo-chris-whitelaw-search-innovation-internet-things-and-wearables
 B. Violino, 2013, ‘The Internet of Things’ Will Mean Really, Really Big Data, http://www.infoworld.com/article/2611319/computer-hardware/the--internet-of-things--will-mean-really--really-big-data.html
C. Green, 2014, How the Internet of Things will forever change the Data centre, http://www.information-age.com/technology/data-centre-and-it-infrastructure/123458414/how-internet-things-will-forever-change-data-centre