Predictions On Digital Regulation, Data Science, And Technology

In 2017, big technology firms began to face a global techlash, debates flared around the governance of data privacy, and business adoption of AR/ VR technologies and data science appear to have reached a tipping point. As we enter the new year, we thought it might be helpful to share predictions on what the future has in store for technology and data regulation, and business adoption of data science and technology. Below are a few of our predictions for 2018.


1. Social Media adopts a “Know Your Customer” (KYC) policy

Social-media giants like Facebook and Twitter have reached such a scale that the benefits of anonymity are outweighed by the damage to society of spreading false information. Hence, the parallel with banking, where regulators implemented KYC policies after determining that anonymity in financial transactions allows terrorists and criminals to abuse the system. Social-media giants already know a lot about their customers, which is why they can facilitate micro targeting. They should use that knowledge to protect their customers against false and unidentified information by filtering it in advance.

In 2017, social media began making tweaks at transparency. Facebook announced in September that it would create a database of advertising to show who is buying what, and began to fact check stories. Twitter has said it will develop a website showing the identity of advertisers and targeting demographics. But more self-regulation is needed to stave off stringent government regulation of targeted advertising and posts. “You are going to have to do something about this or else we will,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said to lawyers for Google, Facebook, and Twitter at a 2017 Congressional hearing.

Little by little, many Europeans will ask Google and Facebook to save their personal data in a designated bank

2. Fines for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) non-compliance will be applied

GDPR is the bogeyman hiding in nearly every corporate closet. Few companies are ready to meet the specifics of this regulation. The problem is that realigning your global-data infrastructure to support GDPR is hard, and, in fact, may be impossible for many companies without rebuilding their infrastructure from the ground up. Nonetheless, it is not unreasonable to expect that EU supervisors will single out few companies as examples— if only to focus Board attention on the issue.

Make sure to mark May 25th, 2018, the deadline for GDPR compliance, on your calendars.

3. Facebook, Google, and Amazon become dependent on European banks

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will develop awareness around data privacy and create new possibilities for European citizens: hosting personal data in their banks.

Little by little, many Europeans will ask Google and Facebook to save their personal data in a designated bank. When Google and Facebook want to retrieve that data, they will need to ask their former customers for individual authorizations to access it through banks’ APIs.

Banks will also take the opportunity to create universal “Know Your Customer” policies, used by most ecommerce websites, and defeat the likes of Facebook Connect and others. 

Virtual Reality has been the trend that was coming “next year” for several years now, but 2018 might be the year it actually happens

Data Science and Technology

1. Companies will start deploying Virtual Reality toolsets in operations

Virtual Reality has been the trend that was coming “next year” for several years now, but 2018 might be the year it actually happens. There are a few very interesting use cases, including augmented manufacturing, virtual trading-desks, training programs, and fully immersive data analytics. With investments from the big cloud providers in “virtual reality in a box” offerings, like Sumerian from Amazon AWS, we expect the use of virtual reality by corporations will materially accelerate in 2018.

2. Embedded data science departments go mainstream

The first wave of large corporate leaders in building data science organizations will start to see the fruits of their investment. But results will vary wildly, with low correlation between investment amount and true value achieved. This trend will go mainstream, as all companies realize that advanced analytics are necessary to their future existence, and they will settle on best practices for integrating data science into corporations.  This will include significant cultural changes, HR-policy changes, agility from leadership, and specific technologies.  It will also impact the approach to global talent, with the best companies following Google into alternate talent search-and-creation models.

3. The emergence and increased prevalence of self-protective systems

Beyond APIs, secure APIs, and other embedded capabilities (e.g. Intel’s SGX), the technology industry will begin to rapidly and dramatically change how it provides the most secure capabilities and services. No service provider or CIO/CTO will want to be weakest in the pack, driving a strategic shift to a different kind of technology architecture.