These days, when migrants arrive at a refugee camp, one of the first things they ask for is access to WiFi and electricity to recharge their cell phones. Their smartphone is as basic a resource for survival as food and water. This is a vivid reminder of the fact that we are fully immersed in a digital world.
Drones have until now been primarily used for military purposes and while they are extraordinarily accurate on one level, all too often there are innocent deaths. Drones are however moving into other sectors – rescue and delivery so far. They could revolutionise the cost base of deliveries to remote regions, not to mention search and rescue services.
Normal, routine activities from daily life generate large amounts of data. Who owns this data, has access to it, and what they can do with it is largely unregulated and undisclosed. Little-by-little more and more aspects of daily life are recorded and stored meaning very little of what you do, where you go, and who you see is not being watched and recorded.
New regulations about consumer privacy and protection come into force this year and are raising something of a storm in the online industry. Growing consumer awareness of just how deep into our personal data and content on our devices apps and cookies go, may create a backlash. Either way, companies will need to be as innovative about privacy as they have been about apps, ads and access.