Sunday, November 30, 2014

Ghost in the Machine

So, just a little bit ago I came over this interesting news article..

It talks about a court case currently ongoing in Canada, where the data collected from a wearable device (in this case, a fitness smart band), is used by layers as evidence in a personal injury case to prove the plaintiff right.

This is something highly interesting, since it's a logical evolution on the fact that we are more and more tech dependent in our daily life.
Be it smartphones, smartwatches, smart fitness bands, etc etc.

So it should come to no surprise that the data collected by our devices is coming into light for use to prove (or disprove?) cases in court.

Many will feel horrified that this data is used in this way, since going forward, regardless if it's use is in favor of the plaintiff or not, companies start using it more and more.

Now, I'm all for tech, I'd gladly stand in line for the latest and greatest.
But even I feel that we might need a little bit of caution in this case..

Why?
Because data is no better than statistics.
Depending on how you wish to use it, you can make it say pretty much anything you want!
It all comes down to perspectives.
Sure, one would argue that humans isn't much better, but a recounting of an event by a human, will be right from the start filtered via someones ethics and morals.
So you have : Event -> witness -> retelling
With the impartial view of data, you have : Event -> data -> person interpreting -> retelling

And there in is the danger, since much depends in the person interpreting how the data is presented.
Same as with statistics.

In conclusion;
It's great with all the gadgets that's coming!
But, we have to exercise some caution!

Comments?
Do sound off!

Over and out~