Did you know that over 81% of children under the age of two already have a digital profile or footprint, including images that are posted online? (Source: Internet security company AVG) How do you treat your digital profile? In other words, how do you treat your virtividual? In what way does it match your individual profile and your experience as an individual? And what is the sum of your virtividual plus your individual?
Google used to say that they want to be the world brain, to gather all the information in the world. But Google isn’t alone. Amazon, Facebook, and Tencent are all doing the same. Since your digital profile, your virtividual, is formed by the information they collect, they end up knowing you better than you know yourself. They know what you like. They know what you find important. They know who you are in touch with. They know it all, and they use it to get your attention. Once they have that, they can gather even more information. This persuasive computing leads to moral aspects, ethical gaps, inequality, and polarization.
Social polarization leads to extremism, discrimination, social inequality, intersectionality, and us-versus-them thinking. If you don’t believe me, just read the news. This impact is so major, that 68% of companies believe that polarization will greatly increase the element of risk for business in general. (Source: GlobeScan Incorporated)
Clean social media
How do we move away from polarization? We need a minimum of privacy, cybersecurity, data protection, and regulations. i.e. a real opt-out possibility. If I move my medical file from one doctor to another, the first doctor no longer has my data or profile. Try that with Facebook. When you enter the US, you have to fill in an ESTA-form which asks for all kinds of personal details, including your social media profiles. Did you ever wonder what happens with all this data? How is it saved? How is it shared? How long do they keep it? Nobody knows.
What we really want is to own our own profiles. For this, we need clean social media. The regulations for that should form a “Bill of Data Rights”. This should include values and liabilities. Some examples:
- Know what happens to your data
- Full opt-out possible.
As this plays out, we are try to strike a balance between our online and offline lives. What is the healthy balance? It’s no longer an option to go completely offline in the western world. Online only is definitely not the way forward either. Balance is the key.
If you want to read more on this topic or find an interactive session, reach out to us for more information, training or to arrange a workshop.
This blog is part of the “Re-envisage” series.
Check the others here: