This is not a blog post in the traditional sense, but rather (and hopefully) a thought provoking stance to which I'd love to have an elaborate discussion! I've got strong opinions on this. You too?
The bar discussions about what the 'next big thing' in digital tech is going to be, are ample. Mostly, you'll end up with 'wearables', 'internet of things', 'payments', 'data visualisation', 'virtual reality', 'car connectivity', 'big data'... you name it!
A thoroughly fresh wind came when I read this article the other day called "The Next Big Thing is Privacy" and it struck a chord with me. Please go ahead, read it and check all the links in there. Here's a tl;dr summary, mixed with personal bias!
Guess we all know by now how there's loads of monkey business happening to obtain and maintain 'Big Data'. The Facebooks & Googles of this world are offering a myriad of products for free, with the aim to collect as much data of you as possible. On its own, that's nothing new. The extend and profoundness with which that happens might still not be clear to all of us (terms and conditions may apply, ind.ie). Gathering data (aka spying) became a business model. It's the business model of web 2.0!
One remarkable bit about this is that we, the users, embraced that Web 2.0 model a decade ago. It sounded like we were the web, the ultimate openness. It was excellent design (not graphic-design but design in the holistic sense) that made us participate and build web 2.0.
Design is key here. Because alternatives are out there; a bunch of privacy respecting tools & products. These tools don't reach mainstream (yet) since they're still residing in a rather nerdy tech-corner. The Facebooks and Googles have had a decade head start in making their products beautifully crafted and easy to use.
If privacy-protecting tech gets implemented by well-designed products, interesting things will happen. If privacy becomes the core business model and the product isn't in the tech-nerd-corner anymore, the big-data-corporations by definition aren't competition anymore.
That future is bright. Privacy is so much more important than the next flavour-of-the-day device. Privacy is one of those things you shouldn't compromise upon.