The Future of Privacy

What are the trends and most important topics in the future of privacy on the Internet and in the workplace? At Friday, April 21 during Internet Week Denmark in collaboration with this.festival at Filmby Aarhus, the future of privacy was debated and discussed.

The black hole of privacy

The seminar started with an introduction to the topic with Katrine K. Pedersen talking about the modern media culture, and how the digital lifestyle is in Silicon Valley. The talk where on how we can secure our online privacy, which is a difficult question, because privacy has also become a huge market. Companies such as IBM, launches new technology all the time within the field, and it is difficult to know whether or not you should trust them. Therefore encryption is also becoming more and more used, and is expected to become a huge wave in the future.

How much are we being tracked?

Aral Balkan gave a walk through privacy through the years. He stated that we back in time called it malware, where today privacy data is big business for a lot of firms. We have gone from centralized mainframe, to decentralized with the computers, to centralize with the web, and now we are waiting to see what the next big thing is. The centralized move.
It is a scary fact to think about that we are actually getting track of everything we do. Someone is sitting and analyzing on it, and selling it. Some kind of people farming. Facebook, Google, Snapchat ect. are all factory farms for human beings, and people have to be aware of it. Google are right now tracking us across 70-80% of the web, and not many people think about this.

Bogi Eliasen also elaborated on the topic talking about “killing superman”, which had a focus on privacy on a health data matter. One point of view is that companies are using our data in a business matter, but another aspect is also that we are able to reach more people with the new technology. So we have to find a balance between the two. People today are bio banks, and we have to protect our data. We are trying to create some kind of Superman by all the access to the data, because by data we can predict and not just correct.

How much is our employer monitoring us?

Another big question was the workers rights. Emma Holten, a feminist and political activist, talked about this topic. She elaborated on her experiences on the work, and how much our employer actually monitors us. As she says “The way of being a productive human is a measureable commodity”. More and more companies are developing technology that is able to monitor our every step, turning us into some kind of robot that is being streamlined. Humanyze, Behavox, Cogito, Fitbit, Peak Health are just some of the firms that have made advises to do so.

The big question is why people are okay with it? And why to we agree to wear e.g. the fit bit, which almost 25.000 people are wearing. Emma Holten states that workers rights are disappearing, and we have to focus on how we make sure that our employee is not violating us as employees. A sort of; “limitation of our rights”. So are you aware of how much of you, as a person, your employer tracks? The answer is probably no. Not many people do actual know all the facts. Therefore, Emma Holten suggests that we demand that we provide a service and not a person on the work place. “Don’t mourn – Organize!”.

To sum up the key findings of this seminar and debate are:

  • Think about what you have to protect
  • Think about who can use your data
  • Think about whom we can trust – It is a market.
  • Think about how much monitoring we should be okay with