Who remembers the film Big, where a young Tom Hanks comes across a fortune telling machine ?
The film has nothing to do with this post except for the analogy that one day, you will be paying someone to process all that accumulated data about yourself in an attempt to make sense of it all for your own personal gain.
Let me explain.
- You subscribe to loyalty cards. They track your spending habits right down to your favourite aisle in the shop and what brands you prefer over another. Coupons are posted to you to entice you to spend a little more. Affiliated offers are made to cross-sell.
- You post all your family, professional and personal info online through Facebook and LinkedIn.
- You check-in through various location-based apps so the world knows your movements in even more detail.
Suddenly the world of Big Data, and your personal data, becomes less of a clumsy marketing tool and more like a surgical instrument; precise, detailed, sharp. They know what you’re going to do before you do it whether you realise it or not.
So you decide to take action. A few years from now you’ll be able to ask for an entire dump of what they hold on you into a cloud-based repository. Obviously what you’ve put into these social sites, cards etc is what you expect to receive back, but no, the sheer amount of data processed, correlated and extrapolated will vastly outweigh what you put in in the first place. What the hell you think to yourself. So you take a stroll online and there in the corner of a Google search is a small advert for digital fortune telling. Not the extortionate telephone line service with a recorded message but the one offering to reprocess all that data so you, yes YOU, can make smart use of it. You want the power that all those sites and companies held over you for so long. You want to be able to know your future before you make it.
And they can offer to predict your future with it.
All you need to do is cross their palm with BitCoin.
Footnote: Photo is of the robot fortune teller, exhibited as part of the 25th anniversary celebrations for Selfridges department store in London in March 1934.