Bartering With Personal Data: In the Future, Everyone Will be Private For 15 Minutes

Though the subculture of privacy enthusiasts will strengthen, don’t expect it to grow significantly or to influence mainstream behaviors in any major way.

What’s Happening Now?

In light of the recent allegations of the NSA’s spying on the American public, we’ve witnessed a spike in conversation around keeping personal information private. From cell phone sleeves that cut you off from all connections to photos that self-destruct, at the moment, there is a strong undercurrent running through culture that is screaming, “I want my privacy!”

But, although there is a momentary outcry for less public living, it seems most people’s default behavior is to let it all hang out. Besides consciously hiding outright indiscretions, the majority of connected society is perfectly fine with sharing and being tracked due to the benefits that come along with services like Facebook or various reward programs.

What Comes Next?

Will the cultural burst around privacy have any lasting impact? Probably not. Though the subculture of privacy enthusiasts will strengthen don’t expect it to grow significantly or to influence mainstream behaviors in any major way.

Where is the innovation?

Since much of the data exhaust consumers give off has value to marketers, we see a future where data will become a form of currency; where consumers will be able to take control and use their personal information as a unit of exchange or barter, and the now hidden process of tracking consumers will be opened up. Paul Kemp-Robertson’s recent TED talk covers this coming world of diverse currencies, including Nike’s “Sweat Points” which essentially transforms time working out into points to purchase merchandise. Another example is AchieveMint,  an app which rewards healthy behavior with physical goods.

What do you think? Since traditional notions of privacy are going extinct, will you participate in this coming personal-data economy?

sparks & honey is a next generation agency that helps brands synchronize with culture. Follow us on Twitter at @sparksandhoney to stay up to date on the latest high energy trends.

Image courtesy of Floyd Hayes

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Douglas Rushkoff – It’s not the technology’s fault

It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.

Think Again Podcasts
  • It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
  • Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Photo: Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less

Why 'upgrading' humanity is a transhumanist myth

Upload your mind? Here's a reality check on the Singularity.

  • Though computer engineers claim to know what human consciousness is, many neuroscientists say that we're nowhere close to understanding what it is, or its source.
  • Scientists are currently trying to upload human minds to silicon chips, or re-create consciousness with algorithms, but this may be hubristic because we still know so little about what it means to be human.
  • Is transhumanism a journey forward or an escape from reality?
Keep reading Show less