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Privacy is Persistent in 6 Mega Trends

Report. World Economic Forum has identified 6 mega trends. People and the internet. Computing, communications and storage everywhere. The Internet of Things. Artificial intelligence (AI) and big data. The sharing economy and distributed trust. And The digitization of matter. Read more about them on page 5 and forward. Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 12.21.50

All scenarios encompass many positive possibilities like increased growth, democratic participance and possibilities for the disabled. But almost all scenarios within these mega trends also entail various risks about privacy, potential surveillance and data security and also walled gardens, job losses and manipulation.

To make these privacy risk an opportunity in stead of risk, the report points to some overall issues to be aware of:

“The rise of software applications and app-driven economies necessitates enhanced focus on trust, privacy and transparency. The mega trends presented in this report all present both risks and opportunities when it comes to trust and transparency. As people continue to share, collaborate and interact online, these issues will continue to intensify.

The technology solutions powering the mega trends covered here must be built on users’ trust for them to deliver on
their potential. Both privacy and security, as interrelated components, are critical. Protecting privacy and ensuring trust is a shared responsibility of all actors involved, and cooperative development of acceptable practices and consequences will be vital to enabling further growth in information services.”

The solutions according to WEF is:

“Awareness raising must be a critical emphasis for public and private actors that develop, implement and incentivize technology development. Consumers and citizens can only have confidence in solutions they understand; as such technologists and governments must find new ways to connect users to the services offered. New approaches
to disclosure of data usage policies, for example, will be needed. Dissertation-length privacy policies, with technical and legal jargon that make little sense to the average user, must be transformed.

Providers must be clear how customer data is used and for which ancillary purposes, and who – whether governments or private-sector partners – may have access to data and services, and under which circumstances. Governments must be willing to stand up and tell citizens what data is subject to government access; and, the balance between national security and citizens’ privacy must be maintained and clearly explained. Uncertainty breeds confusion and mistrust.

An enhanced focus on accountability must be generated so that differing attitudes on privacy and civil liberties can be harmonized – and this, in a way that allows technology to serve the needs of varying geographies, in accordance with diverse legal and societal structures. Updates to existing frameworks to safeguard privacy, such as the Fair Information Practice Principles, Binding Corporate Rules or the Privacy Framework of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, should be pursued. Many nations still do not have privacy laws. To ensure continued growth and acceptance of software-driven solutions, governments will need to ensure their legal systems have adequate policies to balance personal, corporate and government interests.”

Download the report. Lots of interesting stuff to read.