The storm over Uber's consumer privacy settings is just the latest in a growing list of concerns about the tech industry's handling of our data. From general irritation about targeted ads; to deep unease about our personal data security, to fears over the erosion of civil liberties - there is concern about who has access to data about us and what they are doing with it.
Forget the Grinch stealing Christmas. This year, it is a cute little penguin called Monty that not only steals the show, but also the hearts and minds of the UK populace (and softies everywhere). British department store John Lewis has done it again, with a £1 million commercial (US$ 1.5m) that tells the story of a boy and his penguin pal, on the search for a flippered mate.
You ask 10 people and you will get 10 different views on the health of the high street. Then you will get others asking if the high street is still relevant any more. It's not that the debate is polarised, as much as the fact that the changes that have hit retail have been so profound and have happened in such a short space of time that we struggle to make sense of them. Data and statistics only cloud the issue further.
What this does mean is that retailers must become ever adept at creating mobile experiences that are seamless and simply work for a very demanding visitor with a lot of retail choices. If I'm going to invest in visiting M&S in store, I want my online experience with them to flow naturally with the in-store engagement.
I just don't think Amazon can live up to its own expectations when it comes to the bricks and mortar store. Amazon has perfected the art of ecommerce, taking away the risk of buying stuff online, and making it seamless, accessible, and low priced. While it does ecommerce exceptionally well, retail experience it does not.
Technological progress won't wait for planners to help capture this wind of change, it'll happen regardless. But it won't happen everywhere and wouldn't it be better if technological innovation was nurtured and supported to help revitalise high streets that have lost their way and become symbolic of a desperate Britain lacking in confidence?
My lovely old dad was in a wheelchair for the last 10 years of his life and it was my duty and pleasure to push it around London. But it's only when you have the privilege of helping a wheelchair-user navigate the streets of London does it hammer home how thoughtless many of us are by making it so difficult for them to get around...