Every time you touch something you deposit thousands of skin cells that are loaded with your uniquely identifiable DNA. Similarly, the “digital dust” left behind from the many internet-connected devices you interact with each day can be used to identify you as a consumer.
In fact, it’s already happening. And soon, Internet of Behavior (IoB) could be responsible for influencing your decision-making, too.
Find out what this new wave in buyer behavior means for businesses and how its goal to prioritize the greater good could impact our privacy.
What is the Internet of Behaviors?
The Internet of Things (IoT) has given birth to the Internet of Behavior (IoB), which collects and connects countless data points to create a fuller picture of one’s interests and preferences. It makes inferences into user behavior by looking at people’s interactions with technology and using those observations to ultimately make predictions about their buying behavior.
Where does this data come from? Everywhere: social media channels, facial recognition software, location sharing devices, voice activated tech, etc. The more data produced, the more sophisticated the behavioral mapping becomes.
The more data produced, the more sophisticated the behavioral mapping becomes.
“As this data is drawn together from various different sources – say, mobile phone data, plus voice assistant data and in-car devices – and as that data is shared between different parties, an accurate picture of a user’s likes and dislikes, purchasing habits and general interest can be extrapolated,” iStart says of this increasingly precise behavior tracking.
Who’s impacted by this tech trend – and how soon?
Named among Gartner’s strategic technology trends for 2021, IoB is making headlines ahead of its predicted proliferation.
By 2023 40% of the worldwide population will have our activities tracked digitally, with the aim of influencing our behavior.
The global research and advisory firm predicts that by 2023 40% of the worldwide population will have our activities tracked digitally, with the aim of influencing our behavior.
That’s 3 billion of us whose decisions and emotions could be digitally influenced on a regular basis within the next two years.
In less than five years, “Half the world’s population will be subject to an IoB commercial or government program.”
Where does IoB show up in business?
In the near future, organizations could use IoB to establish health protocols and monitor compliance. For instance, existing thermal imaging technology could identify employees with fever before entering the building. Or, computer cameras could be used to detect when someone violates good mask hygiene.
As IoT and the data they produce continues to grow, companies utilizing IoB in their businesses will likely fine-tune their campaigns, products and services based on IoB-predicted consumer behaviors and trends. As they do, stronger data security will be required to safeguard increasingly sensitive consumer info. Robust cybersecurity training and awareness programs will be essential to properly govern this data.
Why does it matter in terms of privacy and security?
Again, the proliferation of behavior data will require more stringent security practices to guard against damaging breaches. Access to sensitive data like an address or birth date is one thing, but imagine the fallout that could come from your personal behavior patterns getting into the wrong hands.
Imagine the fallout that could come from your personal behavior patterns getting into the wrong hands.
There’s already reason to believe phishing scams will reach a whole new level of sophistication if cybercriminals gain the ability to manipulate an individual’s emotions based on actual life events or perfect their impersonations of a loved one.
The more vigilant and proactive the cybersecurity protocol, the less likely IoT expansion is to be criminally disrupted.
Then there are the growing and complicated questions around privacy consequences. Questions like: What data sources are off limits? (Can a lender look to your social media profiles to decide whether or not you’re a qualified loan candidate?) And in what ways can your data be used? (Can your information be sold or collected without your permission?)
As Chrissy Kid explains on BMC, “To many experts, the IoT is problematic because of its lack of structure or legality. The IoB approach, interconnecting our data with our decision-making, demands change of our cultural and legal norms, which were established before the Internet and Big Data Ages.”
In the end, where there is connected technology, there will be data connections made. Learning how to use that behavioral data responsibly is where the real wisdom lies.