Friday, December 27, 2013

Data Expiry

A tweet caught my eye just now...

I agree with this, but have argued in the past that in order to fully appreciate data expiry you need to look at how technology and humans interact where this is occurring.  

For instance:  If someone sends you a package by courier, the chances are that you can track where the package has been... but is a person looking up this information actually interested in where it has been?  No.  What they're actually interested in is "when does it arrive at it's destination".

To put a very fine point on my technological gripe, all the manufacturers of technological solutions work in the left (Green) circle above...  Humans mainly operate in the right (purple) circle above.

To illustrate this further:  We've had cars that have paired with smartphones for years, but take the following steps and ask yourself why this doesn't happen.

  • A user pairs his car to his phone.
  • The car has a GPS.
  • The phone has a calendar with an appointment in it.
  • The user gets into his car.
  • The car detects the phone and queries to see if you might be going somewhere, then programs the GPS accordingly.
The reason this doesn't happen is what I just pointed out above in the venn diagram - the technology is ignoring the fact that you get in a car to go somewhere in a time that is in the future from now.  The fact that it could predict where you're going based on data generated in the past (the calendar) is totally lost on them.

This has bugged me for years!