Personal tech is an overwhelming a force for good, apart from privacy

Barely eight years ago there were no iPhones in the world. None. No Androids either.  Now the figure is closing in on two and a half billion. But do you ever stop to think about the impact. That’s the question Microsoft asked – and answered – in a presentation to the World economic forum this week.

Not surprisingly people are in no rush to hand back their shiny pocket fillers, but nor are they sanguine about the implications. The study called, “Views from Around the Globe: 2nd Annual Poll on How Personal Technology Is Changing Our Lives”  identfied the loss of privacy as the biggest down side to the rise of personal technology, (although for Micrsooft the real bummer was the loss of its operating system monopoly)

According to a company blog written by Mark Penn, Microsoft’s Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Vice President, “Internet users still think overwhelmingly that personal technology is making the world better and more vital.” He noted that large majorities of the online populations in all five developed countries surveyed (France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, and the United States) and all seven developing countries  (Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia, South Africa and Turkey) said that technology has vastly improved their lives.

However Penn also writes, “While there is widespread agreement about the positive impacts of technology overall, there is also an emerging schism in the attitudes between developing and developed countries regarding how technology will affect people going forward.”

In the developing countries the view remains largely gimlet eyed, whereas in the developed world were the technology is more established and ubiquitous greater concerns are being expressed about issues such as the impact on social bonds, the role of shared economy services like Uber and Airbnb and the trust worthiness of the media.

Some description

“If there is one persistent concern about personal technology that nearly everybody expresses, it is privacy. In eleven of the twelve countries surveyed, with India the only exception, respondents say that technology’s effect on privacy was mostly negative. “

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