Identity, Privacy & Security Under Siege Via Ubiquitous Computing Technology

By: | December 19th, 2014

More Vulnerable Than Ever

Orwell’s 1984 vision is coming to fruition due to the unfettered advances of technology.

Our bodies and lives are now immersed in gadgets that record everything and we can’t escape unless we refuse to play the game and “drop out” of society, going “off grid”. This new paradigm is known as “ambient technology” (see image). Today, the fully connected person is tracked by a “body area network” that collects biological and physical information, the intelligent home, and office network, a vehicle network and tracking via supermarkets, drugstores, sports stadiums etc.

IndustryTap has reported extensively on “smart car” technology that will help improve efficiency and safety of cars while unclogging the roadways of major cities. The automobile industry is on board with new information gathering systems and entertainment platforms that will record anything and everything in, on, and around an automobile and everything a vehicle operator does.

To Little, Too Late?

The large number of breaches of private information on the Internet and in public and private organizations, now occurring on a daily basis, clearly shows how policy has been left in the dust by technological advances.

Currently the U.S. Senate is working on the Car Data Privacy Bill that would treat private event data created by new car computers as “black box” information, retrievable only by court order. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration promoted the use of “event data recorders” (EDAs) making them mandatory in all new cars and trucks by the end of 2014 so laws need to be in place ASAP, but they lag.

Prashant Iyengar of the Centre for Internet & Society has written extensively about how information and communication technologies (ICTs) have improved human capacities to collect, store and communicate information while at the same time leaving people’s privacy vulnerable.

What might have been individual criminal acts in previous decades, affecting individuals, now effect millions or even billions of people at a time.

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David Russell Schilling

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