2019 Technology Round Up

By Patrick Ngai, CPA, Audit Manager

Here we are, well into the month of December 2019.  It seems like almost yesterday when I wrote the article, Top Tech Trends in 2018.  As they say, time waits for absolutely nobody.  As we prepare to say goodbye to the 2010s as a decade, I would like to take a minute to summarize five technology trends from the past twelve months.

1. IoT Devices and Privacy

Every electronic available these days is expected to connect to the internet.  It all started with TVs, and now Samsung connects refrigerators and Amazon connects microwaves.  Are they necessary?  Sure, who doesn’t need a microwave that also tells you the weather?  However, the main concern here really should be security and privacy.  Here are a couple articles that take a deeper dive into privacy concerns of IoT devices and also, CAN IT actually catch a virus?

2. AI and Facial Recognition

Another hot topic in 2019 is the use of AI and facial recognition in law enforcement.  Not only is there the question of whether this technology is accurate, there is also discussion surrounding the legality of such use.  Matter of fact, there are currently three states that banned such uses.  Here is a link to a study done by Georgetown Law, as well as the result of a test performed by the ACLU during a press conference.

3. Security Breaches

At this point, we almost half expect our personal information to be compromised in some way.  Among the many security breaches in 2019, one of the more memorable breaches is the Capital One hack.  I guess it’s because the hacker was caught bragging about it on Twitter.  This is as 2019 as it gets.  On a more serious note, there is a common thread that links many of these breaches, and it appears to be the web application these platforms are built upon.  Here are a couple articles that summarize the Capital One hack and the underlying issue.

4. WeWork

Empires rise and fall.  However, no one did it more spectacularly than WeWork in 2019.  Going from a $47 Billion valuation and on the cusp of going public, to asking SoftBank for bail out and laying off thousands of employees, it was a hoot.  There is obviously enough drama in there to fill up a novel.  But, here are a couple articles that may shed some light on this saga.

5. Renewable Energy

Finally, as a PSA, we must work toward lowering our carbon emission and increasing our renewable energy capacity, and we have to do it fast.  The Earth is quite literally melting and that is not good.  This is the only planet we have, and we are years away from developing warp capability and terraforming exoplanets.

With that, I wish you all happy holidays and a happy new year!