Privacy and transparency are odd bedfellows, to say the least. And yet, Apple CEO Tim Cook is attempting to promote this seemingly contradictory amalgamation in the modern tech space while being surrounded by Silicon Valley firms — like Facebook — that are under increasing scrutiny for its lack of privacy and transparency. Throw in user security as a major issue that needs dealing with and a clear resolution that’s a consequence borne out of the lack of widespread privacy and transparency.
The future of technology is entering an interesting intersection with the public in which the real debate regarding within the consumer market is whether these influential tech firms will take the opportunity to look in the mirror and self-regulate for its consumers or if the government (local, state and/or federal) will eventually be required to legislate decisive, impactful action in this powerful industry?
Right now, the public is angry at the lack of privacy that has always been hearsay around our peripheral. But thanks to recent testimony and reporting, disconcerting evidence of violations to our privacy could be reaching a breaking point. Perhaps the numbers of consumers who boycott and/or disconnect from particular digital platforms won’t bankrupt these companies. However, a substantial number of customer departures could, ironically, be enough to significantly disrupt the disruptors of the 21st-century.
Even though Mr. Cook surprisingly advocates for less screen time — if that is a concern for an individual user of an iPhone or related Apple product (of which I agree) — I will surprisingly ask that you set aside thirteen minutes and forty-five seconds of screen time for a recent interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook conducted by Norah O’Donnell, who will be the new anchor of “CBS Evening News.”
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Tim Cook is the best traditional CEO you can get for the ever-expanding tech industry in the Wild West of Silicon Valley in the 21st century because of his thoughtful leadership and inclination to communicate and debate tough issues with some frequency as well as his outspoken thoughts involving transparency and privacy.
Mr. Cook appears to be doing the right things (sans the critically important Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak-level of innovative prowess and imagination) for managing the financial and moral expectations of a firm with a net worth that has been hovering around an estimated $1 trillion.
Tim Cook will never be Steve Jobs as the leader of Apple and that’s ok. The former simply thinks different than the latter.
Now Mr. Cook still has a few big-picture problems that he and his team at Apple need to find solutions to in the near future. One of these problems is an imaginative innovative breakthrough (as noted above), but that’s a discussion for another day.
Regarding user privacy, Mr. Cook and his genius bar in Cupertino would benefit greatly from developing an update for all of its products that are easy to understand and use. And also like its products, this next-level solution to privacy by Apple should be presented in the way the iPod was dramatically brought out of the pocket by the late Mr. Jobs.
The penchant for performing with Hollywood-caliber drama regarding product reveals is unique to Apple — in the architecturally simplistic yet spiritually imposing Steve Jobs Theater no less — and in a time when customers are wary of tech’s expansive reach, a transparent presentation that’s singular in its purpose (privacy) would add an assurance to Apple users while putting the necessary pressure on its competitors and contemporaries in the tech industry to find a similar solution for their companies before government installs its own world wide web of regulations that would assuredly bring a couple of positive changes whilst usher in 98 terrible, horrible, no good, very bad things.
Building more trust, no matter the application will always be insanely great.
In the case of Uber, their app is proving to be just the appetizer to their much larger financial feast.
And it’s been recently revealed that one of their servers is not happy.
The business landscape in the United States, and around the world, continues to flatten and be driven by seemingly boundless innovation within marketplaces both new and established. Whether you are pro or anti-taxi (or neutral), there’s no doubt that the car driving service Uber is providing competition to those famous yellow cars and vans. Having used Uber on many occasions with friends, I have no complaints as a rider. The immediacy, timeliness and incentive to impress is certainly a valuable change of pace from having to wait for a taxi that may or may not show up when needed.
However, as is the case with any business, the front room flash and dash rarely tells the whole story of its backroom operations.
Apple CEO Tim Cook, to his credit, is flexing his muscles for a necessary and positive stand regarding proper business practices in the ever-evolving and mysterious tech space. While Tim Cook will never achieve the fandom or dedicated following as the late Steve Jobs (can anyone?), Mr. Cook has, in recent years, proven to be an impressive CEO in the grounded, traditional sense. His repeated stands for customer privacy rights is painting a rare picture of a tech giant who is genuinely attempting to grow and innovate within the technology industry while striving to prioritize essential protections for his consumers.
The abbreviated expression is, “an apple a day…” Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Kalanick was likely reminded of just how many people use an Apple each day.
The new iPhone 5S features a futuristic entryway: a fingerprint scanner.
Apple has now successfully enabled us to rest our minds from remembering and typing one more password to access our phone or to make a purchase. Instead, all we need is ourselves and our trusty finger to press on the Home button on our phone. Just like that, everything is accessible. Surely it makes perfect sense since every single person’s fingerprint is different. In essence, it’s the perfect password.
It should be noted that Apple did not invent the fingerprint scanner, but this latest adaptation by the technology giant seems to be the best version for consumer purchase.
Initially, this technology seems like it could be the first spark of a fire for an infinite range of technologies to be invented/adapted in the future. For instance, just add “smart” to any device, car (not those), entertainment product, light switch, etc. Imagine the safety of owning an electric fireplace that is only operational by scanning the parent’s fingerprints…
The benefits seem clear, purposeful and cool.
And yet, it does feel a bit too personal. Our fingerprint is ideally unique. Our fingerprint is one of the undeniable differences we maintain against everybody else we come into contact with in our lives.
My fingerprint belongs to me and only me.
With this recent innovation, Apple is continuing the short-term and long-term discussion in society that is constantly dancing on the delicate line between cool convenience and privacy. After the recent revelations about the NSA, there should certainly be serious concern over the potential and/or likelihood of our fingerprints being turned over to security officials for who knows why. This skepticism is absolutely warranted (the last word seemed appropriate).
Is the fingerprint scanner a good idea?
It’s ultimately an issue of trust.
On the one hand, it’s an intriguingly cool technology seemingly built for the future. On the other hand, it also conjures up gentle thoughts of a world from the past…like around 1984.
Will you scan yourself?
There is a television commercial for a Samsung Smart TV with a wireless, Wii-like movement sensor. This state-of-the-art product, as highlighted on Samsung’s website, includes many fascinating capabilities, such as: Gesture Control, Voice Control, Face Recognition and Smart View App. All are surely the latest in technological developments for a television set. Click here to be linked to the Samsung Smart TV website, which offers quick tutorials in how their recognitions work. Scroll down to “Control. Navigate. Be recognized.” Then, click on “See How it Works” for each one.
A more intimate relationship between ourselves and our televisions is being pushed more and more everyday. Does that seem creepy or make anybody else incredibly uneasy?
The iPhone and the Android are the two most popular phones on the market today. Why? They are fully loaded with a myriad of applications, high resolution cameras for pictures and video recording, plus many more fun and time consuming features. As an owner, the iPhone 4S is a terrific phone. Actually, a more appropriate term would be handheld computer. Admittedly, there are moments I wonder just how much I’m being tracked on a daily basis. This curiosity does spark an introspective reaction of wanting more privacy, if that even exists anymore.
On occasion, Time Warner Cable or the television will sputter or freeze while in the middle of a sitcom or a crucial Champions League Quarterfinal match. Annoying does not even begin to describe the frustration this causes. Waiting minutes for the system to thaw and/or restarting the cable box is enough to require an Advil. It is the 21st Century and the year 2013, shouldn’t television’s just work as televisions?
Yes, they should.
There is a marketplace for people who want their televisions to be the epicenter of all things entertainment, social and personal. Okay. But what about those who want only a television?
The following is a business proposal specifically for the major television companies: make state-of-the-art televisions that do basically only that. Build and manufacture televisions that have the capability to record a few shows at once with a DVR with stunning high-definition. No smart devices or senors would be programmed. The television would have breathtaking clarity and the capacity to record multiple shows and movies. In essence, it would be a television set, not a computer.
On one side of the electronics store will be the Einstein section, with products that are so smart that we don’t really need to do anything ourselves. Conversely, the other side will feature the clearest and most efficient televisions with the fastest processing speed and outstanding picture quality. There will be a guide, DVR and a 3-D switchover available. The goal being to perfect the technology released to the public from a couple years ago. Before immediately diving into new and uncharted technological waters, it’s time to be patient and excel in the present.
Once this more “basic” option is established, then let the people decide in the marketplace, literally.
Despite speaking about the internet specifically, the concept of a computer or memory system that remembers everything is quickly becoming a reality that is increasingly surrounding us, especially with the roll-out of more and more “smart” products. Is this really a good thing?
“We don’t want everything to be recorded. We still want that dark space. The internet needs to learn how to forget. All it knows at the moment is how to remember, that’s not very human.”
—UK author Andrew Keen, “Digital Vertigo”
Technology is wonderful and life-altering in a variety of ways, without question. For example, advancements in the medical field have saved countless lives over the years. There is a necessary space for cutting-edge technology. However, let’s not be so anxious to hand over yet another set of keys of society and privacy quite yet.
After all, how smart would that be?
Here’s another way to look at it:
Ben Stiller=Smart Television Watcher
Robert De Niro=A Smart Television