The Internet of Things Council recently asked: ‘What is the opposite of Panopticon?’ Here is how I answered their question.
How the eConomy becomes the meConomy:
I propose two things:
1) Individuals are responsible for themselves, and as such, must guard themselves and their ‘property’ – the place they live on the net – and the information kept there. And
2) Perhaps more importantly, THEY own their data. They are the ME in the meConomy.
Currently, few people seem to be aware that they own their data. Instead, it is perceived that organizations such as social media sites and eCommerce businesses either own said data, or have a right to ‘borrow’ and making a profit from it. This situation is not unlike allowing a random stranger to walk into your home, rummage through your drawers, read your diary to find our what your likes and dislikes are, and then sell you items they think will appeal to you. This situation will soon change as the new digital economy and the internet of things matures.
We [KimmiC] see a world in which, an individual’s information etc. is securely stored separately from applications. Said individuals will be responsible for giving explicit authentication and authorization to access any of their information in an audit-able, secure, and granular method.
To date, one part of the web which isn’t being utilized greatly, except in corporations, is authentication and authorization. There is no reason to assume that once people can control access to their information, via authentication and authorization, that they will choose allow the Facebooks, Groupons, etc., along with any and all smart devices, to broadcast their information to anyone concerned. Information will become the new unit of currency on the web and will be traded and valued as such.
In addition, once individuals realize their information is of value – they will not participate in “lurking” businesses that try and profit by utilizing/mining their data for free and take no responsibility for how, and to whom, they distribute this information.
Once authentication and authorization of parties involved in a communication stream becomes necessary, and individuals are empowered to control this process themselves, ‘phishing’ communications ceases. Other results include a reduction in internet predators, cyber-bullying, identity theft, and violent/hate sites. A safer internet in turn reflects safer neighborhoods, town, cities and countries; perhaps because of individuals deciding, naturally, to take more responsibility for what they allow in their lives.
There will be, to my mind, one more consequence of individuals taking back the ownership of their data as a unit of the connected, digital economy, which is available 24/7, in a universally secure and non-proprietorial way.
While social media companies and eCommerce businesses will continue to flourish, market forces will compel them to share revenue from any profits they make from using this data by maintaining monetary trusts – set up by the UN as part of their project to ensure internet connectivity as a basic human right – to put money back into the public domain and pay for things such as free, international, broadband connectivity.”
How the eConomy becomes the meConomy: A response to ‘Panopticon as a metaphor of the Internet of Things – why not? But if it were the opposite?’
By: Kim Chandler McDonald, Exec. V.P. and Flat World Navigator, KimmiC – January 2012