As a society, our technological innovation has never been better. We’ve reached the age of self-driving cars and smartwatches, so it seems that it’s only a matter of time before we move to smart packaging—an empty milk carton that can reorder itself, for example. But as we inch closer to this new reality, should consumers be concerned about privacy?
There are the obvious benefits of smart packaging: you can see which food is going bad, confirm that a package hasn’t been tampered with, and tailor your order to your specific needs. Zapper chief executive and co-founder Caspar Thykier believes that smart packaging will not only revolutionize our everyday life, but help to uphold the economy. “In the packaging industry, smart tech will make products more engaging for customers and more valuable for manufacturing firms. It also gives packaging firms a new revenue stream, letting them provide extra value to their partners with additional insight into consumer behaviour,” he tells Raconteur. However, following these benefits are some major downfalls.
The overwhelming issue of smart packaging is the consumer’s data privacy. A home is considered a private space of refuge, but it will soon turn into a service center, where the data based on our preferences could be used for advertisements and marketing. Each digital entity that comes into our home has its own identity, leaving a fingerprint every single time we interact with one. Raconteur points out that this data “may give an uncomfortable amount of information about our activities and preferences to firms who seek to apply ‘user behaviour analytics’ to our private home life.”
As we rapidly approach a smart packaging future, will consumers have to give up their privacy?
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Photo: Timothy Muza via Unsplash