As many of our readers know, I have been thinking quite a bit about the issue of security. As we move into the next era of mobile and all things digital — where our identity is tied to digital devices — I believe some form of security consciousness will arise with consumers. Which always lead us to the question of a company like Google. Every time I raise this issue the point is made that it is counter to Google’s primary business model, which is data. It behooves Google to gather as much data/knowledge about you as possible to feed their massive machine learning engine. All of Google’s advertising revenue models are built off this machine learning to help advertisers target customers appropriately. But what if in the era of digital identity Google adjusts their model?
While it is way out there, I propose Google could offer a security service and actually charge consumers to entrust them with their digital identity. This sounds crazy. But think about it — if Google became your locker for the key elements of your digital identity and offered it as a service, it could become an interesting model for them. Security as a service offered by Google. Of course, this would require some significant infrastructure changes but it may not be as far out of an idea as you think. Take Nest for example.
It is possible Google is employing the standard anti-disrtuption strategy with Nest and acquisitions like it. The strategy where you bring in a separate brand/entity to deal with the potential disruption in a new way. What if Nest, or other acquistions around wearables or smart devices, become the trusted Digital identity gateways? These brands could serve as the revenue model within Google’s ecosystem for digital identity management and security.
In this model, Google could conceivably operate their ad business but only have access to certain data I am OK with being public because I get value from being advertised to when it meets my interests or needs. But the private areas of my identity I want to keep secure and managed are kept by a separate entity, for a fee, but still by someone in the Google family. Interesting to think about.
Of course, Google could conceivably just do this themselvs and simply offer a secrity/privacy service for a fee if they deemed it was an important enough issue. Either way, while this is an entirely controversial idea, I think it is an interesting angle to think about relative to the issue of security, privacy, digital identity, and other things that could cause issue for Google in the future.
I know this sounds crazy but I wanted to throw it out there for our members to kick around and share feedback or other thoughts on.