Over the last few years we have all embraced the World Wide Web and in turn had to change our engrained beliefs about sharing our personal information. At first it was just your name, address and email details to enable you to buy things, then with the advent of Social we all started to share a bit more of our soul (hopefully only to select groups) with pictures and views. Even though in the back of everyone’s mind still lurked security concerns due to the long list of hacking scandals, the hope that from going from simple short passwords to longer complex ones would secure your data effectively. However at the end of the day if you were compromised, usually updating your password and getting a new credit card would suffice.
With recent advances in technology though and the constant need to digitise is this all about to change?
In the last month alone we have seen Barclays launching a Cloud Based Document Management System so you can store copies of all your important documents like your driving licence and passport. Apple released the iPhone 5S with a fingerprint scanner and a new start-up called Nymi announced an authentication device which uses your own unique cardiac rhythm. Even Nissan announced it was working on a smart watch that monitors you and the car and would eventually capture your heartbeat and brainwaves. In addition to these Microsoft has also launched a Healthvault to enable you to organise your family’s health information.
What is wrong with this you may ask?
Although all of these technologies sound fantastic and I myself would love to use them all, the big question is how much do you trust the supplier? Do you know them, do they run their own computers or outsource everything, what happened if they were compromised and your information got out? Up to now if your password was compromised you could just choose another one, but what would happen if Information like your fingerprints or cardiac rhythm which is unique to you was compromised? We worry now about having someone stealing our identity by using basic information, what would happen if they had information so personal that it would never change during your whole lifetime, once your extremely personal information is out there it can’t be altered, it is 100% you and someone else may have it?
I am sure most companies will stay ahead of the game and ensure everyone’s data is secure, however how much of your personal information would you trust with a stranger? Would you choose to be an early adopter or laggard with these advances?