Because ultimately function creep undermines our trust in technology. Last year, in their annual Global Internet ReportGlobal Internet Report 2016, the Internet Society identified a lack of trust as the greatest threat to the internet. They wrote:
"Large-scale data breaches, uncertainties about the use of our data, cybercrime and surveillance are eroding users’ trust and affecting how they use the Internet. Eroding trust is also affecting the way governments view the Internet, and, is shaping the policy environment for the Internet around the world."
Recently the media started reporting again on stories of people who claimed the Facebook-app on their phone was eavesdropping on them. The great podcast Reply AllReply All #109: Is Facebook Spying on You? set out to prove that this wasn’t the case. Facebook just simply has so much information on you that it can seem unnerving, it can feel like the only way they could possibly know certain things is by listening to you 24/7. And they do, just not in the way people think. What struck me most was that even when confronted with a plausible theory how Facebook could know certain things, people didn’t believe it. People have so little trust that convincing them Facebook isn’t doing something secretive, is impossible.
The most common definition of function creep is: “the gradual widening of the use of a technology or system beyond the purpose for which it was originally intended.” In the long run, however, isn't it more likely that function creep will lead to the gradual narrowing of the use of a technology or system? Without trust, won’t we cease to explore and advance the tools that have so much to offer?