This year's big idea is Big Data - the collection of consumer information. At CES in Las Vegas last week, everyone and their dog was talking about connectivity and machine learning.

Engineers are becoming obsessed with adding an Internet connection and "smart" telemetry to the simplest of home appliances and personal devices.

The primary consequence, we're promised, is a better lifestyle or more productive workplace. The world around us will learn how we behave and what we expect.

In an excellent article by John Fernald from the FT, he talks about the fundamental transformation concerning who collects, owns and uses data from smart technology. Some say we are moving from an era of financial capitalism into one of data capitalism, dubbed 'Dataism' by Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari.

John also warns us of the unspoken secondary consequences;

Data are increasingly determining economic value, reshaping the practice of power and intruding into the innermost areas of our lives.

This new industrial revolution is happening at a magnificent pace. Gartner Research estimated that 5.5m new devices were connected to the Internet each day in 2016. IBM estimates that we, as a species, generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day. The proliferation of such devices and telemetry of personal information raises challenges concerning identity, security and privacy.

Enjoy the full article at FT.com. Thank you to John for raising this important topic on the pink pages for the wealthy to ponder.

Feature photo from CES 2017 by pattenstudio.

About the author

Xander has worked as an Internet consultant for FTSE100 companies and start-ups for nearly 20 years. He sometimes drinks too much coffee and stares at the wall. He doesn't like to talk about himself in the third person.