Feeds

Web is turning us into kid-ults with no 'private identities' - report

'Hyper-connectivity' is re-defining who we are

Security for virtualized datacentres

Britons' willingness to post every little detail of their lives online is changing the way their identities are constructed, according to a report from the UK’s chief scientific advisor.

The web is having a profound effect on how Brits see themselves and how they relate that identity to the world around them, Professor Sir John Beddington’s report on the future of identities said.

One obvious change which is a result of the proliferation of connected devices is the blurring between work and social identities, so that people check their work emails, Twitter and other social networks when they’re off the clock and employers start to look at social online presence as well as professional qualifications for prospective employees.

“Hyper-connectivity is driving social change and expectations, while bringing people together in new ways,” the report said.

“By 2011 there were more than seven billion devices connected to the internet, and numbers are predicted to reach 15 billion by 2015. Sixty per cent of internet users in the UK are now members of a social network site, increasing from only 17 per cent in 2007.”

With every aspect of people’s lives documented online, both the government and private sector companies have tons of personal data they can potentially use.

Hyper-connectivity can also bring mobs together “where their interests temporarily coincide” - either in a good way, like “solidarity” during the Olympics in London, or more destructively as during the 2011 riots.

The internet is identified as the "technological driver" of changes in the population's identities, but the report also details major "social drivers" over the next 10 years, which include an impending stampede of old people...

“People’s identities are likely to be under greater pressure in their family and caring roles, as the number of people providing care to older parents is projected to increase from nearly 400,000 in 2005 to about 500,000 in 2041, with most of this increase occurring by 2022.

“Traditional life stages, for example between adolescence and adulthood, or middle-age and old-age, are being delayed or blurred together,” the report said.

“Shifting intergenerational dynamics will also see a relatively smaller working population. Younger people are likely to find achieving the experiences of adulthood more challenging than previous generations.

The government also needs to consider those without internet access in its policy-making, the report recommends, so it can strengthen social integration and “make effective use of identities as a resource”.

The full report can be found here (PDF, 1.2MB). ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
You! AT&T! The only thing 'unlimited' about you is your CHEEK, growl feds
Man, we did everything but knock on their doors - carrier
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
Watch out, Samsung and Apple: Xiaomi's No 3 in smartphones now
From obscurity to selling 19 million mobes a quarter
Brazil greenlights $200m internet cable to Europe in bid to outfox NSA
Only one problem: it won't make the slightest difference. And they know it
Wanna hop carriers with your iPad's Apple SIM? AVOID AT&T
Unless you want your network-swapping tech disabled for good, that is
Knocking Knox: Samsung DENIES vuln claims, says mysterious blogger is a JOKER
But YES, system does store encryption key on the device
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.