Argumental – Is Technology Becoming Too Intrusive?
From HG Wells to Isaac Asimov in the world of literature, to Black Mirror and beyond. Technology has a way of transcending the realm of the convenient, to encroach upon the comfort of millions. What we see in the first quarter of 2018 is technology setting foot more and more into our daily lives.
Recently, In China, the launch of the app ‘Social Credit’ has raised serious questions. It has acted as a flashpoint for many to call upon the looming spectre of Orwell and how technology is influencing it. But the question is this: is technology entering a new stage of intruding upon peoples lives?
“Once untrustworthy, always restricted” – Social Credit as Social Control
Anyone exploring further into Social Credit will see beyond its launch, to see what impact it’s already had. According to The Telegraph, domestic charges have already been issued to 12 million people in China. These charges have also seen millions prevented from domestic and international travel due to recorded misdemeanours.
Those failing to abide by Chinese law have found their liberties stripped to some extent. With social credit ratings poised to influence anything within an individuals life from travel to future spouses.
Western states aren’t exempt from this, and a recent example of this was between Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. With the harvesting of over 50 million social media accounts for uses in elections.
Smarter Products for a Smarter World – Businesses are listening
While technology has been taken and used for surreptitious means, particularly in the case of Social Credit and Analytica. However, the rise of digitalisation and the economic collapse of 2008 has pushed companies to take on a customer-focused approach.
This method has proven effective so far and is expected to boost sales and customer services exponentially. Companies are able to provide a bespoke service to the individual; using analytics and online trends to suggest products. Providing a mutually beneficial method of advertising: offering a custom-built advertising campaign with the customer in mind.
Those who express concern over Social Credit in China and its potential application in the west forget one thing. These apps and services already exist, except flipped; instead of punishing, companies offer rewards. As many will know, health insurance apps such as Vitality, have for a long time rewarded healthy behaviour.
Technology is providing an open and smarter marketplace for customers to have products of interest brought to them. With aspects of life like medical insurance and banking offering a better service and rewarding the individual.