The Panel of Paranoia – SASCon BETA 2014

PushON | December 1st 2014

SAScon BETA 2014

Coming to the end of what has been an extremely insightful day we now have the panel of paranoia headed by Barry Adams ,Tom Cheesewright , Julian Tait and our very own Simon Wharton. There has been a theme of conspiracy throughout today’s talks focusing on the darker sides of data. These guys hope to bash out on queries and fears in the world of private and open data.

Barry opens this talk referring back to his earlier session on wearable data and how we are mined for data in all aspects of our day. Tom counteracts this with his side of data extraction and highlights that we are so focused on the likes of Google extracting our data that we completely forget our mobile network providers and how our mobiles absorb more data from us then we concern ourselves with. As long as the loss of privacy is valued and he is aware of what is extracted, Tom states this does not worry him.

Interestingly Tom highlights younger generations and their use of Snapchat. A popular social network where we are so willing to share private and intimate moments yet we are unaware of how secure the network we do this on is. This has been noted across national news over previous months with thousands of images stolen from what users thought was a private network.

Julian contributes to this debate with his idea that our world is based on the data we have already given away. Now that legislation have caught up we are finally realising how much we have given away. We assume we can trust the platforms that extract our data yet we are never fully aware of what is being extracted from us. This leads to question, have we been too trusting for too long?

Next comes the debate of whether we have the resources to utilise and take ownership of our own data. We don’t have the time or knowledge to value it according to Tom. As long as we are given some control and consent over who our data is shared with, it will contribute to tackling this challenge. Tom also highlights the value of each individual user registered on Facebook and LinkedIn ($138 on Facebook and $75 LinkedIn). However we then have to question whether the people buying this data have the ability to use it in a useful way?

The committee go on to debate whether we need a machine or a search device to know what we want before we want it. Is it something that will make us more productive as Tom states or will it make us ‘consumerist lemmings’ as stated by Barry.