Simon Singh makes many predictions about evident trends in the increasingly digital world. 20 years later, he got a lot of things right, although from our digitally oversaturated viewpoint, they seem obvious now. Singh was definitely correct in his prediction that soon email would overtake normal mail, and this rang true for the early 2000s era when email was absolute king of the communications world. What Singh could not have predicted, however, was that email’s reign would be relatively short lived and soon give way to the era in which everyone walks around with a computer in their pocket, and instant messages and texting rule daily life (not to mention the communication capacities of every social media platform). Similarly, Singh’s prediction that ecommerce would become more prevalent in individuals’ lives also rings true. Widespread love of online shopping among most consumers, as well as ease-of-use companies like Amazon have created a world in which most people probably transfer credit card information on the internet at least once every day.
One topic that Singh does not touch on is the increased use of GPS technology. He could not have imagined that one day in the near future everyone would walk around with what can essentially be used as a tracking device in their pocket. Encryption for this kind of information is so necessary, to ensure that no foreign entity has the ability to track where you work, live, shop, or travel.
Many of Singh’s predictions came true, but in a grand way that he could never have imagined. The digital revolution ushered in a new era of almost impossible privacy—encryption is now more necessary than ever, not just to protect our communications, but also to protect our finances, information, and even our whereabouts.