How do we maintain ethics in a hyperconnected world?
Constant internet connectivity is increasingly becoming a necessity in today’s fast paced, hyperconnected world. This state of hyperconnectivity extends far beyond personal living spaces and seamlessly accompanies us in vehicles, airplanes, hotels, retail shopping centers, and our favorite eateries. For those fortunate enough to have school-age children, the reality of COVID-19 has highlighted the undeniable need for everyone to exercise ethical judgement in their use of electronics and re-envision what a home office or classroom should look like.
Many of the “golden rules” instilled from generations past are foundations for our decision making. However, the emergence of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) and near instantaneous access to data has challenged how information is processed, understood, and acted upon. Data in context yields great insights — what are the ideal ways to approach this on an individual, family, and professional level?
Down the Digital Exhaust Rabbit Hole
The convergence of policy and technology is where this lifelong journey begins. In our homes and public spaces, we decide each day with how to share or restrict our digital exhaust. This will never be a sprint, but rather a marathon where the winners are determined by how they run the race and by whom they run alongside. It is important to recognize that everyone has a place in this 4th Industrial race. Realizing the opportunity cost of sacrificing individual privacy and, in most cases, security for instantaneous access to data, discounted products and services can best be summarized by “If the product or service is free — YOU are the product.”
Without knowing the common ways our data is collected, who is collecting it, and where it can end up, safeguarding our information becomes difficult. Fortunately, there are specific steps everyone can and should undertake to better protect themselves, family members, friends and colleagues, and employers to elevate their ethical use of electronics and actively manage their data governance.