There is no privacy

I had lunch with someone today that told me they attended a “Privacy Conference” recently. One of the interesting things that came out of it was that the technologist all thought the lawyers would be the ones that would save privacy and the lawyers all thought the technologists would save it.

Other observations included:

  • Kinect has a camera, microphone, a connection to the Internet and a view of the interior of your home.
  • Many people carry a device with GPS, camera, microphone, and a connection to the Internet with them wherever they go.
  • Surveillance cameras are almost free.
  • Someone has demonstrated a system that you can take a picture of a random person on the street and ~40% of the time deliver the person’s SSN within a minute.
  • An 8-core computer processor in quantity 1 can be now be purchased for about $8.00. This has implications.
  • The UK may have millions of cameras and no improvement in their crime rate to show for it but they were trying to watch the cameras with human eyes. My fear is that we may get 100s of millions of cameras with computer eyes (Kinect technology?) and a police state to show for it.

I think I’m depressed again.


7 thoughts on “There is no privacy

  1. I think David Brin had it mostly right in The Transparent Society: This genie is well and truly out of the bottle, and the only non-Orwellian outcome will be if everybody has access to it.

  2. Kinect embedded in a LCD running 24/7 on your living room wall = Telescreen.

    Ready for spirited renditions of the national anthem followed by Two Minute Hate while you enjoy your Folgers crystals every morning?

    No? Well enjoy the no knock raid!

  3. The genie is not only well and truly out of the bottle, the bottle has been recycled and is now incorporated into pink Johns-Mansville insulation in 3 dozen new houses in suburban Las Vegas.

    We’re getting the worst parts of the dystopias from Fahrenheti 451, 1984 AND Brave New World.

    Ipod music, sexual exhibitionism hinted at in that train scene in the movie version, giant screen tv’s, a media in bed with the government, and people raised without parents as part of a sort of hive.

  4. Skynet is watching you. But… what’s skynet going to do when the lights go out? This stuff does open up plenty of opportunity to play games on it. Let the hacker spirit loose!

  5. “Imagine Waco with new technology.”

    I can’t decide if it would be better or worse. For a long time, I’ve been interested in trying to develop a monitoring system that would watch for potential house invaders; if I recognize police about to bust open a door, I’d like to think that such a system would be able to warn me before my house is completely surrounded.

    On the other hand, not only would the FBI be able to track the Waco compound with such technology, but they’d be able to hunt down every individual that was associated with the group, and harass them, and then burn down their houses as well–all at the same time. Oh, joy!

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