This articles delves into the possibility that such a framework could be underway. Facebook’s aim to register every individual is a daunting challenge, noble even, however fraught with unseen externalities. The externalities are that once this goal is accomplished what will be the future roadmap for Facebook. Simply providing the best way to interact with your peers isn’t the only thing it would be satisfied with in the future.
With such a trove of data on individuals from their interests to their friends, family, and social graphs, the inherent opportunities that future powers can harness and insights that can be gleaned are too crucial to pass up. From terrorism risk analysis, job applications, and credit scoring models, the information available on Facebook is already playing a part in each of these areas. For one reason or another we are all being consumed, our data at least.
Facebook isn’t actively seeking to be this omniscient presence in our lives, instead it is becoming this out of the altruistic, natural, and organic achievement of its aim. With so much information on individuals housed within a single place, it is only plausible that this housing will at some point become structurally important for governments and companies who need this information to predict risk or articulate a marketing demographic (one of this is already taking place).
Facebook today is integrated into our cars, Fitbit trackers, refrigerators, house automation, and more, making our ability to connect increasingly easy. Today we have companies utilizing your Facebook interactions in their credit scoring model, decisions on job applicants, and many other determinations. Now think about it, with as much information as we divulge on sites like Twitter and Facebook why would it not become the most essential honey pot. You might think ‘but I have my rights, my privacy rights’, sure, if you really believe that your rights suffices enough of a barrier to hold off the tsunami of interest in information.
How the social security system became a required part of life.
In 1934 the social security act signed into law became the first legislation designed to provide reprieve from poverty in old age, unemployment, and destitution. Along with it came the ancillary element that is the social security number. This number was a way of identifying the subset of the population that would receive benefits under the new legislation. From the start of it, imagining that the number would become the de-facto national identification number was a far stretch.
Today the social security number is the national identification number required to engage in all facets of our livelihood from getting a job to obtaining a library card, this single identification number has become integral to life. The transformation was gradual. Given the brave new world we are speeding towards, the availability of data and the analytical capabilities to crunch them, and the heightened political climate around the globe, this thing that we’re so passively engaged with today, may become a necessary requirement tomorrow.
How the digital social security system may occur.
Most of us are walking around with a smartphone in our pocket that signals where we are, what we are thinking about, our friends and connections, and a whole lot of other details that identifies us. Our smartphones in connection with our social media accounts provides a rich set of information that not only readily chronicles, but defines who we are. Facebook, the preeminent social media platform has been gradually making inroads into ubiquitous spread. From initiatives such as internet.org to the various integrations in our everyday lives, Facebook is developing a framework that is increasing difficult to break away from. However, to repeat, Facebook doesn't aim to be the new passport required in this brave new world, it simply is that Facebook has and is developing the framework that makes it capable of pivoting at a moment's notice into that other thing, that Orwellian nightmare.