Whenever I think about the internet being everywhere and in everything I immediately start to think about privacy and security and our lives. I wonder how regulated it is going to become in the future and if the laws will ever catch up - and keep up - with the constantly expanding online world. That watch that measures your sleep patterns? Let's hope it doesn't show you didn't sleep well the night before you got into a car accident. That thermostat that knows when you will be arriving home so your house can be properly climate controlled? Let's hope it doesn't go off when your wife takes a lunch break with the pool boy.
I wonder if over regulation and realizations like the NSA will stifle growth and keep people from being able to enjoy the internet as I enjoy it or if the same privacy we used to be afforded is long gone. Will there be graphs tracing the age at which kids first typed in "boobies" into Google? No one will ever know the sexy search words I experimented with when I was X years old. I'm sure it won't be the same for my children.
We are already more accepting of having less privacy but I still choose what goes up on Facebook at any given point (edit: or maybe not :/). That makes it a bit easier to accept. The hidden distribution and tracking of data is becoming more worrisome. Whether it's my iPhone running in the backgroundto let me know how long it will take me to get to work or Google using my location and past searches to tailor current searches to me, the internet is quickly becoming something that is both seen and unseen.
On the surface we have information that I put up there: my tweets, my facebook pictures, my comments on Hubski, my bookmarks or notes in things like Evernote or Dropbox.
Underneath there are things that aren't seen. I may search for something on Google but once I close that tab it goes away. I don't see it anymore. But it still exists somewhere. It gets turned into Google Trends Graphs If I make a search on my phone from a location in New York, it knows it. Advertisements track me from site to site in order to better target ads to me. I don't see these things and I don't know what Google or advertisers think they know about me. I don't always choose what I share with these people now.
That's part of what I forsee the future of the internet being. The anonymous transactions of information that make every day are disappearing quickly. The embarrassing secrets we share or the questions we ask may disappear in the future. Our kids may live in a world where their Google searches are made with an Orwellian doublethink sort of care.
However, the amount of accessible information and friendships and interactions is what makes the internet so special and amazing. We can communicate instantly, find communities of people who share our thirst for knowledge, have fights and spats and love triangles and relationships. What we can learn and share and experience is becoming less limited and that's exciting. Hopefully there will be a balance and smart decisions made as far as laws and regulations and data collection that won't hinder our use of the internet, but expand it.