Jamais Cascio: “Opacity is the New Oil”

Jamais Cascio writes:

“In other words, information and data aren’t scarce, they’re increasing rapidly and dramatically.

“But a related phenomenon is scarce, is declining in availability and increasing in value: opacity. Being hidden. Privacy.

“Information isn’t the new oil; opacity is the new oil. The ability to be opaque — the opposite of transparent — is increasingly rare, valuable, and in many cases worth fighting for. It’s also potentially quite dangerous, often dirty, and can be a catalyst for trouble. In short, it’s just like oil. (Which makes me wonder when we’ll have a new OPEC — Organization of Privacy Enabling Companies.)” (link)

As I’ve written before, our economic system is fundamentally based on the sale of scarce commodities. So if our current economic model is going to continue into the future, we are going to have to find new scarce resources to monetize. Privacy is just such a resource. Technological trends are poised to increase rather than decrease the scarcity of privacy. Therefore I will not be surprised if privacy is one of the major commodities people will be willing to pay for in the future.

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