Big Data is watching you. Big Brother? Big Data? What’s the difference. Both have much the same intent. Collect data about you; use data against you. We know government surveillance is a thing. We know corporate surveillance of customers and users is a thing.
What we probably didn’t know is how corporations watch employees, gather data about specific habits, and then adjust workflows to, well, see how much we’ll put up with before we revolt.
Make no mistake about it. Big Corporations find their workers revolting. What else?
Many, many years ago I worked in the Midwest and took a community college class in my free time. I met a nice woman, about my age (older than young) and her husband worked in a nearby construction equipment factory as a time-motion specialist.
Basically, his job was to watch how employees assembled hardware, and, with colleagues, figure out ways to do the deeds faster. More productivity meant higher profits. Obviously, line employees did not like the time-motion specialists.
Today we have technology which can watch us as we work, determine what moves we make during our jobs, and promote better ways to work. Not better ways for employees. Better ways for employers.
Need a bathroom break to empty your bladder? The surveillance camera on the wall is watching and recording every move; including the shiver and wiggle as the bladder empties (it’s a guy thing).
Sooner or later we see the end results of such studies. Walk into a McDonald’s and you’re likely to see a stand-up kiosk where you can place your order, grab a number, find a seat and wait– no human interaction required since you already paid. Just sit and wait until someone delivers your order but don’t be surprised that it will one day come with a robot.
Once that robot runs over a pre-schooler then our sentiment toward sentient mechanical creatures may change.
That brings me to Apple.
Yes, our iPhone maker collects data, too, and they know more about what motivates us to buy expensive kit than we know ourselves. The box, the wrapper, the colors, the materials– all are designed based upon collected data and packaged in a way to make us feel better about spending more.
Apple understands the dopamine effect and uses it to the company’s advantage and to our disadvantage. It’s all based upon Big Data; information– right or wrong, or for better or worse– that is used against us for the benefit of others.