A Canon advertisement at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Monday, Jan. 4, 2010. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show brought us some interesting trends and ideas.   In his review of the show, Lance Ulanoff lists 9 things he’s learned there.  In the last point in that post, he makes the observation that “the marriage of technology and content took center stage”.

There is a fundamental change in how we’ve been turning every possible device into content delivery or presentation mechanism.  You can read your email or a book on you PC, on your phone or on TV.  I can now watch a TV show on cable, on my iPod, iPhone or on Hulu Desktop.  I happened to be in an Eastern European country during their parliamentary election.  The ruling party rigged the election and when the students came out protesting, they were using Twitter and Facebook to organize themselves and broadcast the latest news.  The government promptly shut down Internet access to these websites.  However, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the Facebook app on my iPhone continued to work.  Multi-channel communication rocks.

As our life becomes more digitized, we are being asked to get used to reading and sending information via a multitude of devices and services.  We’ve been conditioned to open up our private lives and share (some more, some less) our life experience with our online social networks.  Various companies are now hording more and more data about who we are.  I laugh every time a bank asks me to select “What year did you graduate from high school?” as one of my security questions.  Come on, there are at least 1000 people who know the answer to this question.  Besides, about 50% of half of all identity fraud crimes are committed by people who know the victims personally.

As we enable more types of devices to access our private or paid content, the identity access technologies will have to evolve in order to make sure we have consistent usability and security across all information delivery platforms.   The users also need to know that the service they are accessing is authentic, based on the mutual authentication principle, where the service provider will first reveal a secret which will assure the user of the integrity of the communication channel.