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My LinkedIn Prediction: Privacy & Encryption

In 2016, I was asked by to write about my "prediction" for the coming year. LinkedIn had just named me as one of their 2016 Top 10 Voices in Technology, and from all of their top voices from all over the world, they chose only 50 of them to make a prediction.

I was one of them. This was my submission:

In 2017, we are sure to see our share of new, exciting, and controversial policies, events, and news. I’m hedging my bets on Privacy & Encryption being one of the major topics of the new year.

We live in a Post-Snowden/Future Trump world now, which all but guarantees raging wildfires on the privacy front between Washington, Silicon Valley, and the Private Industry.

Today, everything is “connected”. The Internet of Things (IoT) has taken us to “the future”. We are here. The IoT is what people in decades past envisioned, and we made it happen.

Radical dude!

What the past couldn’t predict, was the threat that would consume the IoT landscape we have in front of us.

We didn’t anticipate the security and privacy issues that would force the need for the creation of a billion-dollar industry known as Information Security or Cybersecurity. (Note: When I wrote this article in 2016 cybersecurity was projected to be a billion dollar industry. A survey by McKinsey in 2022 revealed it to now be a $2 Trillion market.)

In 2013, Edward Snowden dropped a (data) bomb on the NSA which created one of the most unstable and distrusting climates between Washington, the technology industry, and government contracting I’ve ever seen. Three years later, in 2019…Washington is still doing damage control from the fallout, and Edward Snowden continues to elude extradition.

Since the first Snowden leak, there have been a host of events and legal cases concerning privacy and encryption.

The Apple vs. FBI case is the most prominent one, and trust me, it will not be the last.

We will see more of those scenarios ‘play out’ through President Trumps term in office. Mike Pompeo (Trump’s nominee for CIA Headmaster) supports an expansion of the U.S. government’s surveillance powers. This doesn’t sit very well with a whole bunch of people.