RETAIL PROPHET DOUG STEPHENS: IS SURVEILLANCE THE FUTURE OF SERVICE?

With every Facebook like, Amazon browse, Instagram post, or Google Maps query, we’re being watched, monitored and targeted. The internet has become a surveillance state and each of us a data set, where companies — known and unknown to us — are cataloguing, monetising and leveraging our data, often in ways to which we didn’t (at least knowingly) consent. The bottom line is we’re being tracked online, and to a large extent, we’ve come to accept it as the price we pay for a wide range of digital services. Today this same degree of surveillance is coming to the real world, as brick-and-mortar retailers attempt to fight back against online rivals who use their data supremacy to consistently outpace the growth of their offline competitors.