Data has moved from a scarce resource to a common resource.
The next few years will be the era of consumer revolution in the development of digital systems.
The presence of data collected without our knowledge is proving to be a trend that will only accelerate as 5G devices and networks become ubiquitous and part of our connected world.
Whether you are taking a walk, listening to music, or even just watching TV, every activity creates a digital trace. Data is passed from one resource to another. If we are living in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, data and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin Revolution are the triggers for this upheaval.
Centuries ago, the resource in question was real estate. The nobles, for whom land ownership was part of their privileges, created an inequitable system where only a lucky few had access to true wealth.
Nobles enjoyed a sense of security because their status was indisputable. For the most part, the merchant class was happy to benefit from agriculture, harvesting fruits and vegetables.
Today, those who benefit greatly from the value of the resource that we have taken for granted too long, data, are the giants of technology. These giants – Alphabet (the parent company of Google), Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft – seem unstoppable.
In 2020, four out of five tech giants reached a market capitalization of $ 1 trillion, not really counting cryptocurrencies. Together, these tech giants accounted for nearly $ 900 billion in revenue in 2019, more than the GDP of four of the G20 countries.
Their income would make Big Tech the 18th country in terms of GDP, ahead of Saudi Arabia and just behind the Netherlands. These giants have earned these billions by capitalizing on their platforms, developing user databases and benefiting from network effects.
Current estimates indicate that by 2025, 75% of the world’s population will interact with data every day . This “big bang” of data generation indicates that these billions will only increase.
We cannot deny that the success of the giants has benefited consumers. Few can imagine a world without Netflix streaming, TikTok dances, or same-day Amazon delivery, let alone quick answers thanks to the help of Google.
The digital generation
Generations have now grown up with digital technology. From an early age, they were exposed to the Internet, social networks and mobile phones.
As the worlds converge, consumers expect more than ever to consume products and services anytime, anywhere, over the connection they have and on any device. They want instant, on-the-go and personalized data.
However, a change is occurring. Power has been anchored in the same groups of people, the technological 1%, for too long.
Horror stories from the past, describing a future where businesses could invade the privacy of our own homes through our refrigerators, are now a stark reality. Social media data influenced the elections. Confidence in institutions is starting to be broken.
Looking again at past revolutions, the revolt of the merchant class and the decline of the land aristocracy have played a key role in transforming the social and political structure.