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My LinkedIn Prediction: Privacy & Encryption

Updated: Apr 19

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.

eyeball people revolt

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.

It will get muddy; but the tech industry is smart and moves swiftly. They are always ahead of everyone else.

For instance, while the Apple vs. FBI debate was ongoing, Apple applied for (and was granted) a new encryption patent. Yep! According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Apple has a method to encrypt data that makes locks harder to crack, called a “multi-block cryptographic operation.”

In addition to Apple’s new patent, there have been other developments, apps, and technologies that serve to ensure privacy in 2016, and beyond.

Snowden himself has designed a privacy device for iPhones to prevent spying.


Many of you reading this have heard of WhatsApp (Facebook’s encrypted child) which uses end-to-end encryption, and has just introduced that same encryption for its video calls, but did you know that Facebook Messenger now has an encryption tool? Yep, sure does.

Also, you probably thought The Onion Router (Tor) was the holy grail of privacy didn’t you? Not anymore. There’s a new privacy browser in town and it’s called Riffle. It was developed at MIT (shocker) and it promises to rival the Tor browser’s capability to keep you safely hidden.

These are just a sample of what’s to come as we approach the next phase of “the future”. With the monumental number of security breaches in 2016, we will definitely see more encryption methods being used in areas such as healthcare patient data, banking, communication, and more.

In 2017, we are going to see rapid implementation of privacy features and encryption methods being introduced in both the development of new technology, as well as being the focus of policy formation on Capitol Hill.

If President Trump acts in accordance with what he has suggested, you can best believe we will see just how much power Silicon Valley really has; because their power will be tested. I for one can’t wait. I’m envisioning a Gladiator-like show; where we will all be entertained.

In preparation for the new year, many tech companies are swimming forward with their ideas to get them into market before any (attempt at) legislation occurs; which I believe will happen. We will see policy formation around Information Security, net-neutrality, privacy, and encryption. No doubt in my mind.

Some of the industries I think will be most affected in the upcoming year 2017-2018 by privacy & encryption are the Intelligence Community (IC), Journalists, Finance, Automotive, Medical/Hospital, and Military.

So what does privacy and encryption look like in 2017-2018?

  1. Quantum encryption;

  2. Phasing out of HTTP for HTTPS;

  3. Wide-spread use of end-to-end encryption;

  4. Privacy as a priority at the planning, funding, and development stages of new technology creation;

  5. Privacy as a service;

  6. IoT and internet policy/regulation;

  7. Re-establishment of government metadata programs;

  8. Lots of new competition in privacy browser land;

  9. And more capabilities that we don’t even have a full-grasp of yet, such as AI and machine learning for privacy and encryption…which Google is currently working on and has made significant progress.

2017, A.K.A. “The Year in Privacy & Encryption” will be a spectacle not to be missed. I’m looking forward to watching the events unfold. The conversation around this topic is well overdue.

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