DIGITAL PROFILE, THREAT OR OPPORTUNITY ?
Written by Xavier MONGIN – In the last 15 years, social media has become a massive communication tool with an estimated 2 Billion users. Today, we can still choose to use it intensively, or not, we can even ignore it, but we are at the early stage of a major societal trend: The DIGITAL PROFILING.
Discover why your digital online presence should be so important that you should care about it…
WHAT IS GOING TO SHAPE THE FUTURE OF OUR DIGITAL LIFE?
# An explosion of Internet of Things (IoT) technology; 80 Billion devices expected in 2025 with the commoditization of sensors and wearable devices feeding databases, but also social media with the emergence of social wear.
# The Data Science capable to store, retrieve, analyze and anticipate most of the minor and major events of our lives.
# The Artificial Intelligence (AI) – that will seamlessly deal with human behavior and social media from marketing automation using bots or machine learning to more sophisticated human and virtual integration with Augmented Reality (AR).
In the very near future, thousands of applications will emerge from these 3 pillars of technology: IoT – Data Science – AI; hence we will see the emergence of holistic solutions capable to collect massive individual data to process them with Al algorithms and pattern our digital profile.
Today your Digital Profile is mainly fed by your online presence, such as your Facebook, your LinkedIn, what you post or what people may post about you.
Such available Data is already stored and utilized by the GAFA. Recent cases such as “Cambridge Analytica” gave us the idea of how Facebook data can be misused. Regulations such as GDPR are setting a new frame to the data privacy but the explosion of data collection and the capacity to compute them with AI and ML (machine learning) will likely superseed the existing guidelines.
If today you want to get an idea of how such Digital Profile looks like, you can easily request your Facebook copy:
- Open your Facebook account
- Go to settings (the arrow on the top-right corner)
- Click the “Facebook information” tab on the right
- Select “Download your Facebook information”
This will generate a copy of your personal data file, you will receive a notification when the file is ready for download.
In few years from now your entire real life will automatically feed your digital identity, without your knowledge. Thus, everyone will have a detailed and pretty much accurate Digital Profile including people that are not highly active on social platforms.
HOW WILL DIGITAL PROFILE CHANGE OUR LIFE?
There will be numerous ways to take advantages of Digital Profiling:
One of the major consequences, will be an intensive usage of your Digital Profile, by brands’ marketing strategy. Today brands develop products, and social media is a strong marketing channel representing 15% of their overall marketing budget, including their support to bloggers but this is mainly a brand to consumer communication and not the other way.
Tomorrow consumers will be major innovative and quality contributors. Brands that will perform in the future will have to learn from their customers; this both- way interaction will thoroughly rely on Digital Profiling.
Companies will also need to care about their leaders and employee’s Digital Profiles. Their personal online presence will be part of the corporate strategy. This is already a reality with “Employee Advocacy Platform” or “Corporate Executive Branding”.
A scariest scenario is the usage of your Digital Profile to drive your eligibility to certain services or special prices. To some extent your gender, your age, your health, may be used already to determine your insurance coverage & price but what if tomorrow your Digital Profile says that you do not practice any sport, or you are a smoker?
Beyond the marketing of the brands, the Digital Profiling will have an important impact on our business and our social reputation.
In 2017 most of the people have a basic online presence through Facebook or LinkedIn and a very limited number of non-popular personalities do have a strong presence including a personal website or a Wikipedia profile.
With this new emerging Digital Profiling, having an online presence deficit will be a real handicap by multiple aspects, from personal social life relationship to business network and potential recruiters.
We will see AI overtaking HR tasks and even management. Metlife, the giant USA insurance is going to manage all their call centers agents with AI by 2020. The software called “Cogito” is capable to analyze a conversation and evaluate the agents to build-up their performance profile. We can then figure out that AI will have soon the capacity to define our employability profile better than a CV and our Linkedin page.
DO WE NEED TO WORRY ABOUT DIGITAL PROFILING?
If we fear progress and innovation the answer is yes; But similarly to Internet, Social Media or AI there is also much more to get from having a Digital Profile if it is “positively” contributing to what we want.
Anyone can influence his Digital Profile; the way we expose our personal and professional life online, the applications we are selecting on our smartphones, the privacy breaches we are choosing against free services…there are many ways to take over your online footprint.
Then Digital Profile can bring more efficiency and proactivity in our daily life but most importantly it will open a new era of human collaboration offering the possibility to fetch a myriad of talented profiles.
Our Digital Profile will set our capacity to influence people solely through our online profiles but will also determine our ability to network beyond our inner circle of family, friends and business contacts.
We are entering in a new era of internet – some may define it as the early stage of the “Web of Thoughts” or Web 5.0 – I would rather define it as an “immersive web” that blurs the boundaries between the real and the digital life, unleashing the power of networking & collaboration from people to people to computers; A world where internet and social media will nurture the rise of collective intelligence leading to unprecedented innovations.
Written by Xavier MONGIN | July 31, 2019