As we saw at CES this year, the "Internet of Things" is here to stay. With more and more platforms, social networks and search engines monitoring our actions and mining our data, questions around how we manage the ownership and distribution of this data are rising. We only have to look at the targeted ads in our Facebook feed or even consider Google's recent purchase of Nest, a home hardware tech startup, to see that personal data is already a hot commodity. So how do we deal with the challenge of data privacy? And not just the current threats that are out there, how do we prepare for the data breaches we can't even fathom yet? When we look at the rapidly changing world of data privacy and compare that to the skills gap that currently exists with our students (American students ranked 32 in the world in mathematics and 22nd in science), there is a possibility the future could leave us vulnerable. This is why we in the tech space and other STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) focused industries need to continue to place a strong emphasis on investing in STEM education.
The idea of data security and data privacy is continuously expanding and changing. As Bloomberg pointed out in their coverage of the hacker economy, consumers can no longer limit their concerns to someone stealing their credit card. Cybercriminals are continuously looking for ways to benefit from hacking into people's personal data as its value grows, which is why an understanding of data management is so important. We need our next generation to not only think about data protection but how to manage the sharing of data, so we can continue to enjoy and embrace this connected world. Very simply, we must arm people with the right tools to build and protect this complex connected world of tomorrow. Combatting the declining numbers of STEM students and increasing the presence of women and minorities in the tech field is an important first step.
Continue reading on Huffington Post's Impact X blog.
Cecily Joseph is Symantec's Vice President of Corporate Responsibility.