A new concept, Me.Ring, allows the wearer to flip a switch to instantly block data from being collected about them. The idea, from design firm Argodesign, is to allow wearers to control their digital privacy by deciding when their actions can be recorded and used and when they cannot – an “incognito mode” switch for real life.
Although Me.Ring is only a concept at this stage, the existence of the idea itself shows a growing societal interest in data privacy and concerns about the always-on digital life. Whether or not the ring makes it to market, there will likely be other privacy controllers like it.
Will people taking privacy controls into their own hands (or fingers) change how data is collected by firms, or regulated by governments? Could we see tech companies offering their own privacy rings or the like, in hopes of filling market need? And, if controlling digital privacy pervades certain markets and demographics and not others, what effect might it have on sectarianism and polarization?