CityVP Manjit

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The Data Chain Gangs

The Data Chain Gangs

Abhijit Bhaduri is one of those LinkedIn writers who I wish was on bebee but failing that I can refer to the comment I made to one of his posts recently that dealt with a drawing based on his question " SHOULD EMPLOYEES HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN?  He does look at the nefarious side of data analytics and data gathering when it comes to employees.

One then cannot blame organizations who recognize that a focus on privacy usually only ferments itself during a particular news cycle.  There may be some outcomes such as a hearing from those news cycle but eventually it will evaporate from the public mind.  So it is that organizations who are called on their lack of regard or focus to protecting privacy in an absolute sense, will be the repeat offenders, claiming that their efforts to patch up prior privacy infractions is proof that they take privacy seriously.

A subject such as "surveillance society" is not something people will tune into especially since they are drawn to much higher rating media.  It is easy to create this kind of society because most people are not aware of these things until there is a wide-scale data breach and even then, the attention span is only for the small window of time when this is in the news cycle. Serious talks about the surveillance society will only attract the smallest group of people or enlightened digerati.

Privacy is therefore a nuanced intelligence and so calling for absolute privacy is as binary as being ignorant that privacy matters.  Our reactions to this nuanced intelligence informs us whether we take reactive actions and short-term responses or we take proactive actions and fit that into a long-term view of how the future should emerge based on present context. 

Nuanced intelligence is much more important than emotional intelligence because the nuance here would be the relationship between reason and emotion.  Exploring that relationship is neither an EITHER/OR but the AND.  The workplace can become a confusing place when the flow of information is part of how we conduct business today. The irony of solving that confusion is to move towards authoritarian leadership.  We then do not have nuanced leaders leading us but dictators, whose corporations inform what we refer to as democracy. 

The idea of data chain gangs is based on the chain gang idea of people tied by a chain, but today that chain is digital.  Ironic then that a central part of what we are told is a liberating technology is called "blockchain".  In business we refer to logistics as a supply chain.  In fashion it is cool today to wear an ankle chain.  So all of that is surprising when we look at the word chain through the lens of slavery or bondage. 

Ultimately we are all guinea pigs of an industrial cage that has now connected to digital technologies.  The question then becomes what kind of digital future are we really creating?  Eventually, the rights of individuals, which are still not that mature in our global society will have ascendancy.  That may be the way of a future generation not yet born but what we think today paves that future and informs the children of our children.  Privacy does matter and even more so in our workplace which leaks more and more into our homes, but privacy is not absolute, it is nuanced and so it is we need to foster this emerging nuanced intelligence.

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