Defining #customertech

Look at your phone.

What apps there are yours? I mean yours in the way a hammer in your hand is yours. Or your car when you’re driving it. In other words, an extension of yourself.

The phone itself may seem to be that. But the apps? Not as much. Not yet. Especially not in the commercial world where we operate as customers. While there is an abundance of tech on the corporate side, all meant to give us a better “customer experience” (or just to sell us stuff), there is a paucity of instruments that extend ourselves as customers.

We have those in the physical world. Your clothing in a drawer is not an extension of your self, but it extends you totally when we wear it. Same goes for your wallet or your purse.

Clothing is many kinds of tech at once: privacytech, expressiontech and fashiontech, to name three. Unless you shop naked, which you probably don’t, clothing is also customertech: a way of extending your sovereign self into the marketplace, signaling your fitness as a customer, whether or not you are conscious of doing so.

Likewise your wallet. In that you carry a portfolio of instruments—cash, credentials, credit cards—that you can use selectively and expertly in every store, restaurant and other commercial setting we visit. In this sense wallets have scale. If you carry a purse, it might also contain a second wallet of loyalty cards and perhaps an address book where we keep notes and a list of contacts. Those tools—wallets, purses, address books—are all extensions of yourself that work everywhere in the marketplace. That’s why you carry them.

All of those things are now moving onto our phones as well, but not in ways that are fully ours. For example, there is no digital wallet made that’s as personal and private as the ones we carry in the physical world. And there should be. If anything, the customertech we have in our phones should start with the graces we enjoy in the physical world—of privacy, control, scale, convenience and expression—and expand them into the virtual one through the amazing graces of digital technology and the Internet. Instead we get lots of conveniences that offer scale only inside the silos of Google, Amazon, Apple and dozens of retailers, banks and other entities that mostly just want to acquire or move our cash and data. (In many cases they also want our attention, our loyalty—always coerced—or other scarce resources of consciousness.)

One example of good customertech we don’t yet have is a contact app that tells every company we know that we’ve changed your phone number, email address, or some other field in their databases. Another would be a wallet that’s not a service provided by one company but a personal tool that engages with all of them. Bots and APIs that belong to us, or are under our control, should be able to do that.

We can only begin to imagine these things, and how they should work, if our job is to equip the customer with tools that are fully hers. If the tool we imagine is a service, it should be one that gives the customer scale.

One real-world model for this is a rental car. When the customer has one, it’s hers to drive anywhere she likes. It isn’t a shopping cart with a steering wheel that only works inside one retailer, or only with the rental agency’s partners. She also has a reasonable expectation that the car is her private space as long as she’s driving it.

So, toward making customertech happen in a big way, Customer Commons will soon be issuing challenges for developers to make true customertech.

But first we’ll be defining it. We invite your help with that.

Meanwhile, a hat tip to Hugh MacLeod of @Gapingvoid, who drew the image above in 2004, to help explain exactly what we’re talking about here, way before the world was ready, which it is now.

Home Depot left customers’ unprotected personal data online

It’s been awhile since hackers broke into Home Depot’s servers and stole 56 million customers’ credit card information back in 2014. But recently, a tipster pointed business watchdog site Consumerist to a web address under the HomeDepot.com domain. The unprotected page stored photos of various home improvement projects…and 13 Excel spreadsheets filled with customer data.
Read more: https://www.engadget.com/2017/04/28/home-depot-left-customers-unprotected-personal-data-online/
Posted by Dont Mine on Me

The Only Way Customers Come First

— is by proffering terms of their own.

That’s what will happen when sites and services click “accept” to your terms, rather than the reverse. This then you are what lawyers call the first party. Sites and services that agree to your terms are second parties.

As a first party, you get scale across all the sites and services that agree to your terms, just like today each of those sites and services gets scale across thousand or millions of second-class netizens called “users”:

This the exact reverse of what we’ve had in mass markets ever since industry won the industrial revolution. But we can get that scale now, because we have the Internet, which was designed to support it. (Details here and here.)

And now is the time, for two reasons:

  1. We can make our leadership pay off for sites and services; and
  2. Agreeing with us can make sites and services compliant with tough new privacy laws.

First example:#NoProfiling:

With #NoStalking, we proffer a term that says—

This does a bunch of good things for advertising supported sites:

  1. It relieves them of the need to track us like animals everywhere we go, and harvest personal data we’d rather not give anybody without our permission.
  2. Because of #1, it gives them compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (aka GDPR), which will start fining companies “up to 10,000,000 EUR or up to 2% of the annual worldwide turnover of the preceding financial year in case of an enterprise, whichever is greater (Article 83, Paragraph 4),” or “a fine up to 20,000,000 EUR or up to 4% of the annual worldwide turnover of the preceding financial year in case of an enterprise, whichever is greater (Article 83, Paragraph 5 & 6).”
  3. It provides simple and straightforward “brand safety” directly from human beings, rather than relying on an industry granfalloon to do the same.
  4. It lets good publishers sell advertising to brands that want to sponsor journalism rather than chase eyeballs to the cheapest, shittiest sites.
  5. It provides a valuable economic signal from demand to supply in the open marketplace—one that can be enlarged to include other signals, such as our next term…

#intentcasting:

This is where individuals present themselves to the marketplace as qualified leads, but on their own terms.

#nostalking and #intentcasting are the first terms to be published at Customer Commons. Both have the potential to generate fresh and healthy economic activity, one in publishing and the other in retailing.

Every new first party term  has the potential to reform whole markets for the good of everyone, simply by creating better ways for demand to signal, engage and improve supply. In doing that, first party terms will also make good on the promise of the Internet in the first place. After two decades of failing to do that, it’s about time.

We’ll be working on exactly these terms at VRM Day next Monday, and at IIW for the following three days, all at the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley. Sign up at those links. Help us change the world.

 

 

Secret Service loses encrypted laptop with possible access to classified data

This laptop contains Trump Tower floor plans and ‘national security information!
Secret Service loses encrypted laptop with possible access to classified data
An encrypted Secret Service agency laptop was stolen from an agent’s vehicle recently, it has been revealed, potentially giving the thief access to classified data located on agency servers. According to one source speaking about the theft, this laptop contains Trump Tower floor plans and ‘national security information,’ though the Secret Service stresses that its laptop has ‘multiple layers of security.’
Read more: https://www.slashgear.com/secret-service-loses-encrypted-laptop-with-possible-access-to-classified-data-17479005/

Posted by Dont Mine on Me

Leaked Documents Show German Intelligence Agency Spent Years Spying On Foreign And Domestic Journalists

From 1999 on — Germany’s foreign intelligence agency (BND) has used its powers to snoop on journalists and their sources.

Techdirt

The tools are there to be abused. Anyone who doubts this aspect of intrusive surveillance programs is either a supporter or a beneficiary. Oversight might be in place and various checks and balances instituted, but the scope and breadth of these programs ensures — at minimum — collection of communications and data government surveillance agencies have no business looking at.
Read more:  https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170227/07572936794/leaked-documents-show-german-intelligence-agency-spent-years-spying-foreign-domestic-journalists.shtml
Posted by Dont Mine on Me

 

Samsung warns customers not to discuss personal information in front of smart TVs

The company is warning customers not to speak about personal information while near the TV sets!

Samsung has confirmed that its “smart TV” sets are listening to customers’ every word, and the company is warning customers not to speak about personal information while near the TV sets.
Read more: https://theweek.com/speedreads/538379/samsung-warns-customers-not-discuss-personal-information-front-smart-tvs
Posted by Dont Mine on Me

Brain scanners allow scientists to ‘read minds’ – could they now enable a ‘Big Brother’ future?

This raises some chilling questions about the possibility for a “Big Brother” future where our innermost thoughts can be routinely monitored. 

Are you lying? Do you have a racial bias? Is your moral compass intact?
To find out what you think or feel, we usually have to take your word for it. But questionnaires and other explicit measures to reveal what’s on your mind are imperfect: you may choose to hide your true beliefs or you may not even be aware of them.
Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/2017/02/brain-scanners-allow-scientists-to-read-minds-could-they-now-enable-a-big-brother-future/
Posted by Dont Mine on Me

German consumer groups sue WhatsApp over privacy policy changes

WhatsApp said it would modify its privacy policy to allow it to share lists of users’ contacts with Facebook!

WhatsApp’s privacy policy change allowing Facebook to target advertising at its users has landed the company in a German court.

The Federation of German Consumer Organizations (VZBZ) has filed suit against WhatsApp in the Berlin regional court… Read more: http://www.pcworld.com/article/3163027/private-cloud/german-consumer-groups-sue-whatsapp-over-privacy-policy-changes.html
Posted by Dont Mine on Me

The Best Way to Protect Students’ Personal Data

The first line of defense in protecting student privacy are our teachers.
children laptop.
Gearing up for their district’s password-reset day in October, teachers and school administrators in Raytown, Missouri, watched a spoof video “gym” tour by their tech-support staff, who offered tips for stronger passwords amid “laptop lunges” and “cross-tech” training.
Read more: http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2017/01/how_to_protect_students_personal_data.html
Posted by Dont Mine on Me