Apple vuole dare agli utenti più consapevolezza su ciò che fanno le app. Google lavora per fare machine learning senza trasferire i dati degli utenti sui suoi server e per ridurre l’invasività di cookie e fingerprinting. E non ha senso parlare di “rinascimento etico” nè auspicarne l’arrivo, ma solo far sì che il maggior numero di aziende possibile veda la privacy come un ingrediente necessario per un conto economico di successo. Il benessere di noi cittadini -non solo quello economico- passa anche da questo. Ma non si tratta di una sconfitta, ma della conquista di un modello di fiducia basato su consapevolezza e responsabilità reciproca.

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“Records of Everything, N. 1” — A remix of Wikipedia’s definition of privacy.

L’economia digitale ha un problema di fiducia -su questo non ci piove- e non sembra nemmeno semplice da sistemare. E una parte importante di questo problema riguarda il delicato equilibrio fra servizio data-driven e privacy.

La risposta è talmente ovvia che nemmeno la voglio scrivere… ma nell’eterno farci domande e darci risposte, una cosa davvero importante ci è successa sotto il naso e quasi non ce…


Fully homomorphic encryption isn’t here yet, but there’s a lot we can do immediately to restore trust in the digital economy. OPAL, Enigma, The Secret Network… these are just some of the solutions we can adopt or get inspired by. But above all we need to turn off data sharing and set new rules to combine our data with algorithms. And this is definitely possible, if we just want it to be.

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“Records of Everything, N. 2” — A remix of Wikipedia’s definition of privacy.

The Italian version of this piece has been originally published on October 7th, 2020, by Il Sole 24 Ore.

We live in the age of «elabo-relations». Immuni, for example, creating an abstract and privacy-oriented representation of our contacts to notify us of a potential Coronavirus infection. Or BitCoin, the currency that shifts trust from the bank to the decentralized ledger. And then our social networks, our streaming habits and the whole sharing economy we are plugged in… our digital self interacts with algorithms through data at high intensity and frequency, determining the map of our relationships through processing.

But are…


Ci stiamo dondolando tranquilli in overdose da transazione e in deficit di conversazione. È il dramma di chi si occupa di prodotto fisico: una volta che il prodotto (di solito ottimo) lascia il magazzino, è perso per sempre. Chi lo userà? Dai mettiamoci una product registration! Sì, ma quanto lo userà? Quando? Dove? Con chi? Boh. Boh. Boh. In un mondo ossessionato dalle conversioni, forse è arrivato il momento di tendere una “mano digitale” alla propria community, supportarla con metodi e funzioni, descriverla attraverso i dati ed alla fine anche arrivare a conoscerla senza mediatori. Per questo serve mettersi in prima linea e partecipare alla costruzione di un’estensione del sistema operativo della community, per interagire ad elevata intensità e frequenza, non solo attraverso qualche scontrino una volta ogni tanto.

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Photo by amirhosein esmaeili on Unsplash

C’era una volta il marketing ⌘C ⌘V.

Il CFO chiede il budget marketing per l’anno prossimo? Pochi minuti dopo una colonna in un file di Excel viene duplicata, poi qualche ritocchino… et voilà: il budget è fatto! Quante volte è andata così?

Sì, dovremmo averlo capito: in un mondo che cambia a grande velocità, il copia-incolla non è una strategia e forse non lo è mai stata. Mancano le idee? Non sempre: si può essere bravi o anche bravissimi e comunque cadere in questo tranello…. …


Se abbiamo un problema con la tecnologia, forse è ora di ammettere che la causa è tutta umana, perché sensori, dati e algoritmi non ci servono a gran che se non abbiamo buone idee. Ma una soluzione c’è, è l’Intelligenza Ibrida, ed è proprio il momento per cominciare ad usarla. Insieme.

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Siamo sull’orlo di una crisi 4.0? Grandi aspettative per investimenti di trasformazione digitale ancora non conclusi e ritorni economici a volte insoddisfacenti. Cosa è mancato? È una domanda che forse ci siamo già fatti, ma che ancora attende una risposta, soprattutto ora che l’emergenza sanitaria ci ha reso evidente l’importanza di essere davvero 4.0, non solo di scriverlo nei powerpoint. Se questa è una crisi il prossimo passo è affrontarla e risolvere i dubbi che si celano in essa. Senza paura. Ma per questo purtroppo non esiste una ricetta copia-incolla e nemmeno un software da installare o una consulenza magica…


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Cover image by undraw.co (remixed)

I know that discussing about digital tracing is hard. I am passionate about privacy and data ownership, so I can understand what worries people. However, I disagree with the idea that technology can only compromise privacy. On the contrary, technology can strengthen privacy and freedom, beyond any policy, regulation or legalese. Technology is the founding pillar of trust in the digital space, but it has to be designed and deployed for good.

With this in mind, on March 21 I wrote this proposal (you can read it from <START> to <END> here below) as an attempt to better explain a…


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Photo by Free To Use Sounds on Unsplash

We are in the middle of a coronavirus outbreak and it’s everyone’s duty to contribute to the collective effort of limiting the virus spread. In the meanwhile, it’s inevitable to imagine how technology could help authorities and virologists make even faster and better decisions in the future. A real-time data driven situational awareness, for instance, could potentially change the way we manage health treats like this. This is a fictional story, but it could easily become reality. We just need to unlock the power of data and make sure that privacy and trust become the founding pillars of the new…


How a technological alliance (and not a legal fight) can boost the data economy without eroding our privacy.

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“Records of Everything, N. 0”, 2021 — A remix of Wikipedia’s definition of privacy.

Abstract.

Recent reports by the Norwegian Consumer Council¹ and the New York Times² evidenced that a part of the digital industry has dramatically given up to “personalinvasion”, the dark side of personalisation. This disturbing deployment is part of a bigger privacy problem which needs to be resolved quickly, to avoid a massive destruction of privacy and trust in the digital space and to prevent the collapse of digital citizenship.

The situation is critical: the digital advertising industry is under the lens; some say that “the Internet is broken”, others say “#quitFacebook!”… data brokers claim they can take our fair share of…


To make sense of the enormous amount of data around us we need to co-operate with machines. And it will be a challenge for both.

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Photo edit & merge of Rock’n Roll Monkey and Road Trip with Raj / Unsplash

Key takeaways:

  1. To unlock the power of data at scale we need machines;
  2. Machines can empower and complement humans, but also viceversa;
  3. Driving the evolution of society through human-machine interfaces is a priority and a design challenge (not technological);
  4. Blade Runner might be now in the past, but still we have a long way to run before developing a true understanding of how humans and machines can co-operate and be intelli-agents, together.

While we were busy doing something else, we went through the age of the database, in which a few data describe the “who” of things, and then through…


We deserve a fair share of the value of our data, but is selling it really a good deal? Having a broker to negotiate a paycheck for us is useless and -to some extent- wrong. A better solution would be to partner with business and create a new data ownership toolkit, to unlock sustainable data “pro-action” for both of us.

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Key takeways:

  1. The digital economy is broken, but selling our data will not make us rich and will not fix the problem;
  2. There are many reasons why selling your data is bad… here you find 3 of them;
  3. The solution is leaving data sharing behind and create a new model of trust and data ownership together with big platforms;

“Who’s bad?”. Big service platforms and social media using our data to make money? Or us, who accepted the “free for data” proposal without wondering if it were sustainable? …


Some technologies do not make transparency easy, but perhaps this is the least complex part of the problem. More often, a Black Box is the engineering artefact of an intellectual property. Isn’t the Coca-Cola formula one of the most popular Black Boxes in history? However, moving to a future where reputation, reliability, privacy, credit risk and employability (just to name a few) will depend on what algorithms say, Black Boxes represent the dark side of the force. And since avoiding Black Boxes isn’t always feasible, we must at least be aware of their side effects and commit to reduce them. In a word, we need responsibility, which is the foundation of sustainability and value. We will also need new tools to help us: one example is a new “sociological” approach aimed at studying Black Boxes in the same way we studied the most mysterious behavioural agent in the world: our brain.

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The increasing interest in Artificial Intelligence has brought to evidence all the risks of the “Black Box”. ⟶ If you don’t know what we’re talking about, click here to learn more.

We were saying, the algorithm working in a Black Box mode is risky, first of all because it doesn’t allow to understand how it works. Why does your supermarket stops you for inspection at the self-service checkout? And why do you see this sponsored message and not another one on Instagram? And again, why does Spotify offer you this particular playlist? …

Riccardo Zanardelli

Digital Platforms @ Beretta | Engineering | Privacy & Data Ownership | New Media Arts

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