On Trust and Transparency

As this partner content on Wired suggests, trust and transparency are more important than they’ve ever been when it comes to one’s relationship with technology.

This comes as no surprise amid Facebook hacks, social media misinformation campaigns, and data security issues, even in the world of credit reporting. Some folks are even questioning whether smart devices are listening into conversations without authorization or sending messages without their permission.


Whatever merit there may or may not be to those claims, it’s apparent trust is a critical component in any consumer’s relationship to a given brand.

One wonders, then, what level of trust one might need to have in order to permit a brain-computer interface technology like EMPATHY be installed directly in the brain?

EMPATHY universe tech empire Human/Etech is betting on consumers not requiring full transparency. In fact, at the heart of EMPATHY is a well kept and highly-sought-after trade secret known only to the company’s founder and CEO, Doctor Wyatt Halman.

But would people really be willing to have a nanochip installed in their brain without knowing what’s in it?

The knee-jerk reaction might be to say “of course not.” But not so fast!

Think, for a moment, on the most recent end-user license agreement you accepted. Perhaps it was for something banal or routine, or, even if it wasn’t, I’m willing to bet you didn’t actually read it. What makes me so confident?

Well, here’s one piece of evidence to support my claim. In 2010, GameStation collected the souls of 7,500 of its consumers when they agreed to its end-user license agreement. You read that right.

Granted, this proved to be an April Fool’s joke (and, if I’m not mistaken, GameStation did go on to return all of these consumers’ souls), but the point remains.

One might argue there’s a difference between renewing one’s iTunes agreement and signing up for voluntary brain surgery as is the case with EMPATHY, but even then… is that true? Do you read every line of the information presented to you when you go in for a medical procedure, or do you mostly rely on the highlights as presented to you by your trusted medical professional?

Exactly. That’s why trust is so important in both the technology and medical fields.

Where EMPATHY rests at the crux of these two fields, that trust is doubly critical. But if you trust the brand, you trust the brand, right?

To what extent EMPATHY study participants trust the nanochip and Human/Etech as a whole remains to be seen, but readers everywhere will be able to learn a lot more about whether that trust is well placed when EMPATHY: Imminent Dawn debuts in January 2019.

Until then, be sure to keep an eye on this blog, on our newsletter, and on my Twitter and Facebook feeds for more in the lead-up to the book’s publication date.

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