the future

Alongside emerging technologies in the digital marketing industry, such as the internet of things (IoT), comes new ethical concerns. 

To read a simple definition and short history of the IoT, check out what Wikipedia says here, but my explanation would be to imagine living a life of the highest convenience. Not having to get up to turn off the lights, downloading your shopping list from your fridge, getting health updates from your watch…a life of technological bliss!

However, all of these technologies can amount to something quite pervasive, as outlined in these research articles, Allhoff and Henschke (2018) and Popescul and Georgescu (2013). 

If we are worried about the level of data that companies have on us now, we need to step back and consider the impacts this life of convenience may cause. 

I want to use smart fridges as an example, because who doesn’t love food and convenience?

image by Qioto

Consumers don’t have much trust in companies that collect their data, as shown by the 60% of Facebook users who have little to no trust that their information will be kept private (CNBC, 2013). 

However, with smart fridges tracking our eating habits, privacy is a crucial element that consumers cannot overlook!

Imagine the same scenario of distrust between consumers and smart fridge companies, with a cloud of doubt around whether they are selling user data…

Now, imagine that these companies are selling user data and they’re selling it to insurance companies or pharmacies who use our personal information to market their health coverage or vitamin range!

(A very dramatic and dystopian twist, but you never know)

How much of our private information are we happy to trade to marketers in exchange for convenience?

My suggestion is to keep an eye on Garner’s hype cycle! Be aware of what’s coming and start to think about potential ethical issues, both as marketers and consumers.

image by Gartner


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8 thoughts on “the future

  1. It’s fascinating how we have reached this phase in time where privacy has become a really big issue. I was wondering if we will ever give up our privacy for the sake of convenience or do you think that people will start finding a way in which these two will coexist together?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s very true, it’s hard to predict which way it will go. I think that if there are any big changes, people will resist…but if the technology becomes more invasive over a longer period of time, I think we might be okay with it as we get accustomed to each new level!

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  2. Great post. Privacy in this digital age is quite scary. Your example about the smart fridge and insurance companies is a real potential problem. Have you heard about a similar thing happening with the companies that provide DNA tests? Such as ancestry.com. Apparently these companies sell the DNA data and insurance companies can use it to determine the amount you will have to pay. Very interesting dilemma.

    Liked by 1 person

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