Information sharing and privacy are increasingly important topics. Looking forward, we need to consider the Internet of Everything. IoE includes persons, things, processes and places for a start. How do we manage information sharing and privacy in the Internet of Everything?
During my consulting career, I focused a lot on obstacles to information sharing, particularly in government. The obstacles were mainly cultural and technical. Cultural obstacles included an inbred unwillingness to share information between and often within organizations. In government, there was also the lack of statutory authority for information sharing between ministries and agencies. On the technical side, each organization developed its own unique systems which were neither compatible nor inter-operable with others. As a citizen, I had some sense of privacy from knowing that different government services and programs were unable or unwilling to share information about me. On the other hand, it was always painful to do a change of address, because I needed to do it separately for everything.
During the past twenty years, most organizations have found new ways to share information when needed. These changes include managing data separately in a data warehouse, adopting software solutions that function enterprise-wide. Also, changes include a trend towards standards for data sharing and technical interoperability. Most organizations these days will have some sort of information architecture to guide these activities. Consideration of privacy, identity and security should be included in this architecture.
Information Sharing and Privacy – Your Personal Evolution
Fifty years ago, people shared information by writing a letter or attending a meeting. Twenty five years ago, people started shared information by sending e-mail or creating a web page. For the past ten years, we share almost everything on social media. Clearly, the trend has been away from privacy as the default setting. Away from one-to-one towards individualized one-to-many. And, away from text towards multimedia. In effect, everyone has become their own broadcast medium.
With cloud computing has also arrived big data. Big data is the ability to analyze very large amounts of data quickly to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behavior and interactions. In short, for the past ten years your use of social media and internet-connected services has put your privacy at risk. Without protection, big data can turn that risk into a certain lack of privacy.