Technology

Why irrational fears of technology slow down innovation

Interview with Daniel Castro, co-author of 'The Privacy Panic Cycle: A Guide to Public Fears About New Technologies'
  • Daniel Castro, Vice President at the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, explains how society often goes from the “tech-hype cycle” to the “tech panic cycle.”
  • Public panic attacks over technology go way back in history and were touched off by inventions like the telephone, toll roads, loyalty cards, cameras, RFID cards, and even computers.
  • Castro’s advice to business: embrace innovation, don’t fight it, or you can be disrupted.

Daniel Castro, Vice President at the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, explains how society often goes from the “tech-hype cycle” to the “tech panic cycle” and how irrational public fears create bad public policy and slow down innovation. As an example, he says that fears about privacy killed Google Glass. Public panic attacks over technology go way back in history and were touched off by inventions like the telephone, toll roads, loyalty cards, cameras, RFID cards and even computers. For example, when the Kodak portable camera was introduced in 1888, it quickly set off a panic over privacy concerns. Castro’s advice to business: Embrace innovation -- don’t fight it -- or you can be disrupted. In the real estate industry, fears about Zillow are an example. Some agents fight it, while others figure it out and make money from the portal’s leads. ...