We live in a world where the bots are watching, recording, and reporting everything we do. When Edward Snowden told us the NSA was spying on our communications, the NSA responded by saying “It’s no big deal, we’re only looking at the metadata, not the content of your conversations.” What the country failed to recognize, and the NSA was counting on, is that the metadata provides a much more compelling and accurate story than the content does. The IoT is all about metadata – or context. When were you at a location, what did you do there, what did you buy, what did you eat, who did you meet with – your metadata answers all of these questions. The alarming surge in the number of sensors that we carry around with us every day, constantly tracking, recording and reporting our each and every action, provides an amazing level of context to our lives. The intelligence community has a term for this type of data, it’s called “Pattern of Life”. The legal field also has a term for this type of data, it’s called “Questions of Fact.”
Imagine if, rather than wondering and trying to piece together what time an employee got into the office in the morning, you knew what time they arrived. And what if you knew they spent the first hour reading personal websites, getting coffee and texting their spouse – that they didn’t actually begin working until an hour or two after arriving. What if you knew they left shortly after that for lunch, and didn’t return for several hours. What if you could map out an employee’s day and see exactly what their activities were, what time they left for the day, what type of personal activities they did while on the clock. Maybe leave early for a client meeting off-site, but their location data shows they were actually at a child’s soccer game, or at home, or a bar, or a competitor’s office. Now imagine you could aggregate this type of data over time and see what patterns emerge. Employees come in late, spend time on personal activities, go to long lunches and leave early. This data would certainly be very interesting for HR and Managers, but for Legal? Now imagine these same employees have just filed suit against your company for unpaid overtime and off-the-clock work. Do you want to spend you valuable time and resources trying to argue the facts? Or would you rather know the facts, and simply disclose them? Maybe the facts are good for your case, and you know you can argue a good case, or maybe they aren’t so good and you may want to work on early settlement. Either way, knowing the facts puts you in control of the case.
The IoT is here, there is no putting the genie back in the bottle. The content of what we say, type, and photograph is important, but the real story is told by the metadata. Interpretation of that evidence has traditionally relied upon direct human review, but no longer. The IoT can be used to interpret human data and human actions in digital form with devastating effectiveness. Join our experts, Dan Regard and Charlie Platt, as they guide a lively discussion behind the scenes of the Internet of Things – what is there, how to get it, and how to use it.
Get the data, own the narrative, control the case.