A glimpse into location tracking
A rather disturbing article from the New York Times, using info leaked by an anonymous employee of a data tracking firm (yes, there are firms that specialize in this), reveals that every move by people with smartphones is data made available to tracking firms. Every stop in the liquor store, the green cross, the gas station, church or cabaret is tracked. See some stunning graphical maps of people’s movements online in the article.
dis-rup-shun: It’s the season to be reminded that you are loved, but in this case, you are tracked — every move and every stop. For most people, why worry? For those people with secrets… be worried. For those people running for public office… you’re screwed. Is this reversible without tossing your smartphone in the nearest dumpster? What’s done is done, but data privacy and data security and a dashboard for consumers to turn off or on preferences is critical and should be an FCC mandate. As long as we are enjoying maps, Yelp, weather and just about every other great location -based app, we are being tracked. This is a situation that will not be ignored much longer as some high profile people will soon be embarrassed by some place they visited and regret.
Don’t (FedEx) poke the beast (Amazon)
FedEx stated that its bumpy last quarter is partially attributable to Amazon’s delivery services, but that its new seven day a week delivery services will help it outpace Amazon in 2021. Earlier, FedEx denied that Amazon would have a material impact on its business. Now the company is calling Amazon a competitor with impact. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: I recall Blockbuster’s CEO Antioco saying Netflix was not a material threat, and Blackberry dismissed the iPhone as not a business phone. The shipping wars have started in earnest, and FedEx’s addition of a seventh work day is one of the biggest changes in FedEx’s business in many years. The consumer and small business may benefit from lower prices, if pricing becomes a part of the war. Right now consumers are enjoying the benefits of Sunday deliveries. How does the U.S. Post Office fare in all of this?
A bold look at life in 2030
CNET has been reviewing the decade now ending in a series of looks over the shoulder. In a look at what life may look like in 2030, here are some headlines:
- Flying and self driving cars will be available — the technologies exist today, but testing and legislation stand in the way. Will these obstacles and business models be smoothed out in 10 years?
- Always connected means that we are always seeing or hearing more than meets the eye and ear — augmented reality contact lenses, glasses, and speakers, always connected to the cloud, will be feeding us contextual information about what we are doing.
- Life in the cloud — all of our writings, texts, listening and watching to online conversations, and web searching, to name a few connected things, will live indefinitely in the cloud. We may die, but everything we did will not.
- Genetic engineering will modify our species — DNA and gene editing, already in experimentation mode, will be performed when deemed ethical (by whom?).
dis-rup-shun: All of these concepts are well underway today, and looking at the amazing technological, business and cultural transformations that have occurred in the past decade, these visions are reasonable. Venture money is already chasing these opportunities. Now education, training and legislation needs to follow, and follow fast.