Silicon Valley overlords and your data

My summary of Evgeny Morozov’s article on Tech Titans are busy privatising our data.

Data is the new currency. It drives advertising markets. Big tech firms like Facebook and Google are subsidising their services heavily to harvest data to support their revenue streams which are driven by advertising spend.

Historically, these large firms are ideologically opposed to advertising. At the same time their influence and power will grow as they own the information infrastructure and will continue to reap the data windfall. The Internet of Things will accelerate data gathering and the resultant power of the holders of this data. Consumers will continue to mortgage their private data for ‘free’ services.

Almost all industries are being disrupted. There’s no reason to believe that the advertising industry will survive the disruptive forces. Eventually the ad-driven subsidies will end and the big tech firms will start charging for the services they provide (even if they don’t really want to) it will be a matter of survival. Blockchain and micropayments will facilitate the payment of these services.

Big tech firms will then own the data, drive the social and venture capital investment agenda and will grow ever stronger in political influence. Good luck with getting them to pay their fair share of taxes.

And you thought Games of Thrones had all the intrigue and political maneuvering.

Zaheer Ismail