Very limited Internet access (and even more limited bandwidth) than expected, but a few ideas/issues from the road (before they leave my short-term memory).
Here are two ideas for services that seem inevitable after a few experiences on vacation.
1) Government dictated (or business-standard) regulation to limit the personal information stored as consumer information – especially related to customer purchases. It will probably have opt-in/opt-out capability. Think of it as a HIPAA for retail business. The motivation for this is the ever-increasing amount of fraud with identity and credit information.
Motivation/inspiration for this? Several things, but it really hit me when the gas pump I put my credit card into this morning asked me for my zip code (and potentially other information). First the expiration date had to match the number on the card (and the date wasn’t supposed to be stored). Next the name had to match the card. Then, for shipped items, the address on the card had to match the address being shipped to. Then there was the "security code" on the back of the card (which, again, wasn’t supposed to be stored). Now to get $60 in gas, the gas station has my name (from the card), the card number, expiration date, and now my zip code (which is a protected field under HIPAA in certain circumstances, as are the rest). In the short term, the added zip code requirement will catch some stolen cards, but then they will need something else.
The main issue here is that some random Shell station in mid-Florida now has just about all the information they need to not only use my credit card, but order a new card, or get a loan in my name. This shouldn’t be necessary, and is getting out of control. Something will be needed soon or there could be a huge backlash to cash (which wouldn’t be such a bad thing anyway).
2) The second thing that I think is needed is some kind of clearinghouse of employment information for employers and employees. This would probably also need a government element to be effective. Think of it as a "Monster.com" combined with "Linked-In" with some government validation. One motivation for this would be to insure that people are minimally allowed to work. Non-native workers would need to be registered in order to work, as would minors with a work permit.
Another big motivator could be that it is estimated that that 80%+ of people have false information on their resumes or lie in job interviews. To have particular parts of a potential employees history (e.g. education, work history, etc.) verified digitally by a certified source would eliminate a lot of fraud from the process and get further into the interview process much faster. Right now some professional certifications (e.g. Microsoft) can be verified by an employer when an employee gives them a one-use code to their transcript. A similar model could be used to validate employment-eligibility status as well as education and work history. The ability to have authorized agents validate the information increases the quality of the information for future use. Some of my first jobs and special experience were at companies that no longer exist, and for people I have long lost track of.
Right now people who use the unemployment benefits have to use a similar system to track their employment search and can also be used to match people with positions that are posted. The problem will become when registration with this type of system becomes required for particular jobs.
Jobs in personal privacy and data integrity will be ever-growing with the digitization of virtually all information going forward.