The world is packed full with tangible commodities like oil; however, we’ve seen an exponential rise in value of intangible and digital commodities like data and cyber.
Data has become the most valuable commodity. We produce an estimated 2,200,000,000,000,000,000 (2.2 quintillion) bytes of data every day and, therefore, data sovereignty, data residency, data processing, data access and derivative data becomes a big concern to every country whose data crosses borders via the internet and through cloud providers.
As the number of internet of things (IoT) devices incredibly increase, expect an estimated 25 billion internet-connected gadgets this year.
The recent announcement that from next month WhatsApp will not work on Android 4.0 and iPhone 6 phones is not only questionable to its users but a major financial drive that many will never know . A software update might require an upgrade of its hardware. But there is more.
When Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014, the big plan was to turn the messaging service into a cash-minting juggernaut. WhatsApp collects phone numbers, profile pictures, names, statuses, login activity, contact lists, purchase financial information, details of your phone, mobile company, IP address, location and so on. So, how important is that to Facebook?
This is called Network effect: The more people who have the app, the better it is for all the users; and the more data Facebook has about users, the more powerful it becomes. Our data has ever been surveyed, harvested, collected, modelled, monetised and even sold as raw data and licensed for advertisers to target us.
As competition of user data by social tech giants like YouTube, Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram for use continues, our biggest concern is data sovereignty and protection, digital sovereignty and cyber sovereignty. The global digital data war will not end anytime soon; a unified robust cybersecurity resilience, data governance and protection is critical.
Mr Kimeu is a specialist in cloud governance and cybersecurity consultant. [email protected]