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And, of course, with new uses of potentially sensitive information, there will (by necessity) be new legal and industry standards that crop up to deal with them. It will likely play out as a game of catch-up, though. "I think most of our laws are pretty antiquated, and most of the people making our laws are pretty illiterate when it comes to these things," Weston said. Most likely, some event or another will have to cause a significant public outcry before anything gets done. That, and companies like Google and Facebook would have to stop playing what is essentially a waiting game, biding time while younger users, more used to living their lives in public, come up through the ranks, presumably negating a more immediate conversation about privacy and regulations.
But even within the next five years, kids born in 1990 will, statistically, be starting to have kids of their own. Demographic preferences will have changed no matter what, creating totally different demands on all businesses, not just tech companies. "Online marketing was really kind of stable for about ten years," said Delamarter , "but with mobile and social there's been this heart attack. Now, anyone can be a PR expert if they have enough Twitter followers, it's not a matter of getting some guy in a lab coat."
Meaning, then, that successful companies will be the ones that have adapted to this, and the enabling technologies that Weston describes as "not quite there yet" will, it's safe to say, be "there."