What if you could fill up your car using an app, track all your driving activity, in order to locate your car at any time, get quick help if you break down, or find the nearest garage before you break down! What if you could reduce maintenance costs by improving your driving behaviour?
Sound good? All these services which improve vehicle safety, security, reduce costs and make driving more convenient are becoming increasingly available with latest models and many older ones, thanks to the gathering and intelligent use of your driving data.
But what if further down the track, your driving behaviour data ended up costing you more in insurance premiums or it had other implications that you may consider to be a breach of your privacy? What if your data were shared beyond your garage and used for other reasons? Regardless of whether you consent to a certain use of your data or not, what happens if something goes really wrong, what recourse would you have?
Data matters and it’s everywhere
We leave a trail of digital data as we go through the day, from our online shopping lists and searches, to social media posts and emails exchanged on our connected devices. Smartphones, tablets and computers are just the start.
Our cars, home appliances, health monitoring and medical devices belong to a growing list of smart and intelligent devices, which gather personal data, in other words, data which can be used to identify a specific person.
Numerous applications use artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to gain insights from all this personal data, in order to improve products and services. From architecture and construction to financial, healthcare, retail and transport, we are bombarded with innovative applications offering many benefits. But how many of these applications come with clearly defined processes to follow, if instead of benefitting, someone suffers as a result of this technology?
Standards help protect data
It’s all about intent. If the reason behind gathering the data is for good, we will be more likely to consent to sharing our personal data. However, as life becomes more digitalized, we will have to accept sharing a certain amount of personal data. Many medical records are already digital and the day will probably come when paper ID no longer exists.
One way to protect our data selves is to develop international standards for data sharing frameworks, which will address privacy, security and other issues, such as ethics and societal concerns. Find out more in the e-tech interview with Ian Oppermann, Chief Data Scientist and CEO of the NSW Data Analytics Centre.