March 19, 2019

By Gonzalo López Martí - Creative director, etc /

  • We’ve all heard the conventional wisdom by now:
  • “If the product is free, you are the product.”
  • “You might think you watch Netflix or Instagram, but Netflix & Instagram are actually watching you.”
  • And so on and so forth.
  • Yup: the always-evolving, carefully crafted UX/UIs (neologism standing for user experience and interface) of the apps we download and navigate with reckless abandon are harvesting private data from us users 24/7 on all our devices.
  • Our footprints, habits, neuroses and secrets, digital or otherwise, are anything but for the various Silicon Valley cartels who control de piping of the interwebs.
  • The digerati call this lot GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon).
  • My acronym of choice is AFANAM: Alphabet, Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Amazon, Microsoft.
  • Alphabet as in the newfangled holding company ruling over Google, YouTube, Android, Gmail, etc.
  • Microsoft?
  • Well, it owns Windows, Outlook, Linkedin and Skype.
  • See, these folks are in serious damage control and soul searching mode these days.
  • Because?
  • Cuz Uncle Sam is setting its sights on them.
  • Antitrust authorities.
  • People don’t change when they see the light, people change hen they feel the heat.
  • Moreover: DC loves drama.
  • Politicians will never miss an opportunity to pout for the camera and overact concern for the little man & woman.
  • Remember the grilling they gave Zucks last year.
  • DC would LOOOOVE to slice and dice AFANAM just like it did in the past with various oil and utility companies (google The Sherman Act, Standard Oil, Baby Bells, etc, should you be interested in learning more).
  • A perfect storm for pols to justify their salaries and protect us from ourselves.
  • Let’s accept it: we are accomplices too.
  • Never underestimate a consumer’s penchant to blame someone else for his or her clueless, lazy, freeloadin’ herd mentality.
  • Anyhoo, privacy is the new mantra.
  • AFANAM is scrambling to clean up their act, literally.
  • No more tracking, no more personal data hoarding, no more privacy-breaching graphs.
  • This will affect the way we advertise.
  • Retargeting and tracking tools will need to be reverse engineered to kosherize themselves.
  • Or even rebuilt from scratch to fit into a new set of best practices of the industry.
  • The result: I foresee a new dawn of creativity.
  • Creativity as in taking risks, making leaps of faith, following one’s instincts in a context of uncertainty.
  • Creating new behaviors (as opposed to just monitoring past ones).
  • Remains to be determined if this reborn creativity will employ actual human brains or artificial ones.


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