Innovation is good for all. Building security and having a concern for personal privacy is a must to sustain trust in products and services. There is a mad rush to integrate AI/ML (Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning) into everything; if the sheer number of CES 2019 Alexa and Google Home offering is any indication. A good dig by Apple via this billboard at CES 2019 says it all: iPhone Privacy Pledge Ad Hope Apple sticks with its pledge on protecting consumer data and provide privacy enabled products and services even for a slightly higher a price compared to it’s competition.
AI/ML requires huge amount of real world data. AI/ML is sucking up large amounts of personal data every moment we are connected to internet services most of these are free such as @gmail, @facebook, @yahoo and the likes. Consumers don’t know how their data is being collected, analyzed and used in ways that puts them at a disadvantage. Opting out is difficult and most don’t care as there is very little awareness. In addition to news of misuse of personal data by so many companies, security breaches exposes the data to bad actors doing long term damage to consumers.
There is an effort to protect consumer by creating products and services that adhere to privacy by design for consumer goods and services : https://www.iso.org/committee/6935430.html This is a good start. Days of profiting from personal data should come to an end one day. Consumers get these products for free or very nominal prices without realizing how much they give up. There is a huge opportunity to create products and services to charge more and still profit by educating the consumers that the additional price is worth and go a long way in protecting their personal data.
When signing up for any service or buying any IOT (Internet of Things) connected or home consumer item that promise an always on connection, consider and ask how your data is collected, sent where? and how it can potentially be misused, stolen and what protection you have? Is it worth the convenience without security and privacy? For example E-mail is the life blood of communication for every user these days. Have you ever wondered how free email service providers such as @gmail @yahoo mail etc. do with your every intimate conversation that you have with your friends, business associates, doctors, real estate agents etc. ?! They will never disclose what they collect and what they sell? There is gold mine of information that power their AI devices and services exposing every personal information that they can lay their hands on. They may even argue every user that signed up for their services have accepted their terms and conditions that gives them the consent to do what they do. How many read those fine print?. Another example is streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu – have you wondered how much of personal preferences and data can be collected and fed to AI/ML engines on what you watch, the times you watch, where you watch etc. Troves of this data can be sold to so many companies to recommend products and services that can capitalize and expose your privacy at your expense. Beyond this social profiling can also affect your political and thought freedom as China is already using collected data to give you a behavioral and social score. While US govt. is not doing this today, but politicians can misuse and use this to control population that can slowly chip way the freedoms we love so dearly.
Pexus LLC is always working to create products and services that protect and enable consumers to take control of their own data. We are enabling users to host their own e-mail server at home on in the cloud using a virtual private server completely under their control. We make it easy by enabling a more de-centralized computing the way it was meant to be.
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