IoT (Internet of things) is trending these days. Connected houses, cars, sensors, thermostats, LED lamps, etc. On the recent COFES 2014 in Arizona, IoT was one of the most most discussed topics. Clearly, there are some very interesting things PLM can do with IoT even tomorrow. However, the question of privacy and information transparency is one that can hit negatively PLM IoT solutions.
I was reading Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin: I Wish I Could Forget The “Right To Be Forgotten” article in Search Engine Lands earlier this morning. If you are not familiar with new acronym – RTF (Right to be forgotten), you better do it now. The Wikipedia article is here. Current legal framework is mostly focusing on private personal data and potential exposure of this data on the internet.
The right to be forgotten ‘reflects the claim of an individual to have certain data deleted so that third persons can no longer trace them.’ It has been defined as ‘the right to silence on past events in life that are no longer occurring.’ The right to be forgotten manifests itself in allowing individuals to delete information, videos or photographs about themselves from internet records, and thus prevent them from showing up on search engines. Currently there are little protections currently against the harm that incidents such as revenge porn sharing, or pictures uploaded that are born of equally poor choices, can do.
The implementation of RTF is still far from mature. Here is the passage from the article, which explains how it can be done.
Practical implementation of the RTF, which allows individuals to seek the de-indexing of personal information that has become “outdated” or “irrelevant” (even if legal), will create procedural challenges across the numerous jurisdictions throughout Europe. Each jurisdiction is free, in theory, to enact a different process. According to Bloomberg, Germany is first out of the gate with a potential RTF “takedown” procedure. The German government is considering setting up arbitration courts to weigh in on what information people can force Google Inc. and other search-engine providers to remove from results… the Interior Ministry in Berlin would seek to establish “dispute-settlement mechanisms” for consumers who file so-called take-down requests…The ministry suggested that the removal of information shouldn’t be left to company algorithms… The German ministry doesn’t currently plan to create a single mediating authority or to put mediators under state supervision, it said. Talks with Google and other providers will begin once the government has finalized its position.
RTF implementation made me think about potential connection between RTF and future ability of manufacturing companies to collect data from different devices. Think about car, thermostat, phone ability to collect product usage information. Maybe not very realistic today, but tomorrow the data collected from devices will be personalized. There is high probability that PLM products focusing on services / maintenance, performance and requirement management will collect personalized information about customers (and people). Which will immediately trigger the question of “de-personalization” of product information to comply RTF rules.
What is my conclusion? We are collecting more data every day about ourselves and products we are using. It is good and bad at the same time. More data can help us to optimize products. At the same time, it raises a question about potential exposure of private data. Similar to regulatory support, PLM companies will face the need to implement and support RTF rules and clean data about individuals and companies collected from product and devices. Just my thoughts…