“I can’t afford to not record.” – Little Brother, Watch Me
I ended my work day by listening to Aral Balkan’s Drupalcon Prague 2013 Keynote:
By the end of it, he’s making an impassioned plea for open source makers of digital goods to create high quality “indie data” solutions and products to compete with the “Big Data” world that most of us have acquiesced to with the GOOG, Apple, Facebook and their ilk. His point is that closed systems are successful in creating great user experience and that lulls consumers into choosing an experience that trades privacy because it just works and makes you happy. He uses his misadventure with Firefox OS as a great example of this that I found quite amusing.
Then I got in the car to come home and the first feature story on All Things Considered was the final part of their series on “Your Digital Trail.”
Included in the audio but not in the text was a question they posed around devices like fitbit and fuel band. Say you’re in a car accident, couldn’t an insurance company use the sleep data you’re tracking to question your alertness?
That was a scenario I hadn’t considered. I track just about everything. I use google and apple services and devices. I check in to locations via foursquare. I wear a fitbit. The music I’m listening to while I write this is being logged on last.fm. I use geo-location enabled features all the time. I text message. I tweet.
My standard position has been that I get a lot of value in exchange for giving up all this data. I’m not so sure I believe that, anymore.
I doubt that means I’m going to change my habits tomorrow but it does mean that if there were “indie data” options that were designed with a consumer intent, I’d be more than open to them.