When we first began the Me2B Alliance, our central thesis was that technology was unknowable by everyday people. And we held, perhaps, a tacit corollary that industry abused and exploited the natural opacity and unknowability of technology. What we’ve learned, however, over the course of creating our yardstick to measure the behavior of technology, and applying that yardstick to websites and apps, is that there is an appreciable amount of “unknowability” on the part of technology makers as well.
This is primarily due to the way technology is built nowadays, with extensive use of external software components. It’s easy, fast and widely available. Software development is no longer so much about creating from scratch as it is about integrating third party pieces. And why not reuse? Why recreate the wheel if there’s a truly excellent wheel that you can readily use?
The problem is that when you do that, you bring in all of the bad behaviors and data processors (third parties) that may be in that external software. What we are finding is that, because of how you create things like websites and how easy and frictionless it is to integrate third-party components, businesses don’t know what’s happening two-, three-, four-levels removed in these third-party components that include other third-party components, and so on—in a nearly fractal pattern. Ultimately, this makes technology equally unknowable to the makers of technology like websites and mobile apps.
This was a revelation to us. While we did anticipate this going into our work, we didn’t appreciate just how opaque the software supply chain has become to makers of technology. What we’ve learned through the testing we’ve been doing for the past 18 months, is that we’re not only demystifying the behavior of technology for users of technology, but also for the makers of technology.
And because of this awareness, we’re launching a new meme in the spirit of this old PSA from the 1960s-80s, updated to this more current question:
It’s 10 o’clock. Do you know where your data is?
We realize how well this question applies to not just Me-s but also B-s.
If you’re a B and want to know where your data is, contact us for a Data Supply Audit or Pre-Certification Audit. If you’re a Me, check out our Library to educate yourself about data in the digital world.
So we’re excited to launch this as a recurring theme, and we hope you take it to heart, whether you’re a Me or a B. If you’re of the age to remember the original campaign, we hope our renewal sparks delight, as we pay respect to the original PSA through adopting a similar look and feel. You can help us get this message out by sharing our posts on LinkedIn and Twitter!