Not all innovations are initially successful. Think about the driverless car. It sounded like a great idea — helping the disabled and elderly retain some independence — until the first pedestrian fatality involving a driverless car occurred in Arizona this year.1
Driverless technology may be a work in progress, but it may still have advantages. After all, the technology could reduce the number of cars on the road and their greenhouse gas emissions. America’s parking lots consume more land than Delaware and Rhode Island combined, and the average privately owned car in the U.S. is used only 5 percent of the time, sitting parked the rest of the time.2
We deal with the pros and cons of new technology every day. We love our smartphones, often relying on them too much — like when the battery goes dead and GPS navigation disappears. After all, who carries a map in their car these days? These lessons can be applied to other aspects of life, like carrying insurance for an item we no longer use, such as a boat or a lost piece of jewelry. Take stock and see if there are goods, services or habits you do not need and are costing you money. Sometimes our conveniences create more problems than they solve.
While you’re in the mood to take stock, consider giving us a call to review your current retirement income strategy. We will be happy to help you make sure it aligns with your goals for retirement.
Social media is another area that has revealed both pros and cons. It has been a wonderful invention for keeping family, friends and colleagues in touch, regardless of location. Then Facebook announced that 87 million users’ data was used by a political consulting and data brokerage firm.3 One of the data scandal’s most interesting revelations was, while a social media user may carefully control who sees his or her personal information, any time we friend, follow or otherwise link with other people exposes information to marketers who target the followed individuals.4
Other “conveniences” also may have questionable implications. Amazon recently announced it was adding an option to deliver packages to a purchaser’s locked car, in addition to the in-home delivery service launched last year. The new car delivery service uses an Amazon Key app with connection technologies common in new vehicles.5 Trusting a delivery person with access to your empty home or car — what possibly could go wrong?
Despite constant concerns about privacy and security in technology and personal data, one of the most irritating issues is keeping track of passwords. It seems we are constantly inundated with requests to change them, so much so it’s nearly impossible to keep up with which websites have which passwords. While most people recognize the need to exercise caution, two of the most common passwords used today are still “123456” and “Password.”6
Content prepared by Kara Stefan Communications.
1 Anita Balakrishnan and Deirdre Bosa. CNBC. March 19, 2018. “Uber halts self-driving car tests after first known death of a pedestrian.” https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/19/uber-self-driving-car-fatality-halts-testing-in-all-cities-report-says.html. Accessed April 27, 2018.
2 Ely Razin. Forbes. March 11, 2018. “How Driverless Cars Could Disrupt The Real Estate Industry.” https://www.forbes.com/sites/elyrazin/2018/03/11/how-driverless-cars-could-disrupt-the-real-estate-industry/#61039ab013c1. Accessed April 27, 2018.
3 Nadeem Badshah. The Guardian. April 8, 2018. “Facebook to contact 87 million users affected by data breach.” https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/apr/08/facebook-to-contact-the-87-million-users-affected-by-data-breach. Accessed April 27, 2018.
4 Knowledge@Wharton. March 22, 2018. “Why the Cambridge Analytica Scandal Is a Watershed Moment for Social Media.” http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/fallout-cambridge-analytica/. Accessed April 27, 2018.
5 Andrew J. Hawkins. The Verge. April 24, 2018. “Amazon will now deliver packages to the trunk of your car.” https://www.theverge.com/2018/4/24/17261744/amazon-package-delivery-car-trunk-gm-volvo. Accessed April 27, 2018.
6 Matt Burgess. Wired. Jan. 2, 2018. “In 2018, it’s finally time to ditch those bad tech habits.” http://www.wired.co.uk/article/technology-resolutions-2018-improve-digital. Accessed April 27, 2018.
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