A Layperson's View of Future Technology and Society

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Future Technology

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Future For All

Technology and Privacy

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eye scan

Our privacy is under attack from technology. Well, not exactly an attack, more like a slow surrender. Cameras are so widespread, you can't remove a wedgie without the possibility of it going viral.

For my protection, someone may be looking at my texts, my email, and checking on my phone calls. My teens are being tracked, my dog has a microchip and the neighborhood is cradled in a cozy blanket of surveillance cameras. I'm really starting to feel secure.

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Future Privacy

What is wrong with giving up a little privacy, for something that makes things easier, saves money or makes me feel safer? I think people have different opinions on this.

This Future For All video is a parody about the future of privacy. How much private information are you willing to give up for savings or convenience?



Here are some other technologies that bug my privates:

-Internet sites that gather and share my personal information and internet activity.

-Search engines that show ads for products I searched for yesterday. That's creepy!

-Free email services that use artificial intelligence to scan my email and show relevent ads to the side.

-GPS devices. This abused technology will be used more often, and in more places, as gps tracking devices shrink in size and cost.

-Genetic profiling, aka genetic fingerprinting, is a DNA testing method used to find out if you are more likely to have certain types of diseases in your lifetime. There are concerns that insurance providers and employers could use this information to discriminate.

-Nano-sized microphones and flying insect cameras are in the visible future. What will privacy be like when nowhere is private?

-Invisibility cloaks are for real and they will only get better. What will they be hiding?

-Being monitored in public places of business to discover my shopping habits.

-Facial recognition cameras.

-Traffic cameras.


Yes, we are tracking you, but look at all the cool stuff you get!

Most technologies listed above have a good reason to be used, or it would simply be called spying.

-Internet sites store cookies and other tracking code to help remember you when you revisit a web site to make navigation easier.

-Search engines show ads for things I am interested in (unless my girlfriend searched for purses on my computer).

-Free email services aren't really free. What was I thinking.

-GPS devices. Help me find my car in a big parking lot.

-Genetic profiling, could help find cures to diseases.

-Invisibility cloaks could help shield things from radiation.

-Being monitored in public places of business to improve your shopping experience.

-Facial recognition cameras can help spot bad guys.

-Traffic cameras (only upset me when I get caught).


What can you do to keep your privacy?

Good luck with that. The entities that want our data have got us by the bytes--with lengthy Terms of Conditions, conveniences that become necessary or savings offers, in exchange for your personal information.

For myself, the benefits often outweigh the exposure. I tried all the steps necessary to keep my internet activity private, but it was a hassle, and you must do it every time you use the browser. What do I have to hide anyway? Do I care that marketing companies know what I searched for? Not enough to swim against the tide.

If you are concerned about protecting your privacy, articles and web resources can be found below.


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This image is not an actual lie detection scan

Brain Frees

Powerful lie detection tools may someday surpass the accuracy of the polygraph and permanently change how suspects are convicted -- and freed.

Lie Detection

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robotic insect spies

Flying Friends or Privacy Pests?

Robotic insects are jumping at the chance to assist humans in search and rescue. Robot insects could also be used for spying. Robotic insect spies

Future Privacy Articles, Blogs and Web Sites

All Links open in a new window.  Bold = Recommended - Links do not imply endorsement

Future Privacy Articles
Title Source Date
The FBI Uses Fake Cell Towers to Do Real Spying Popular Mechanics 02/15
Samsung warns people about discussing 'sensitive information' in front of their SmartTV Business Insider 02/15
Justice Department spies on millions of cars: WSJ Reuters 01/15
Indecent exposure: Sony's hack reminds us nothing is private Yahoo! 12/14
The Domestication of Surveillance: We Are the Watchers Yahoo! 06/14
Web inventor: Surveillance threatens democracy Phys.Org 11/13
Take back the Internet KurzweilAi.net 09/13
Microsoft joins Google in US spying suit Phys.Org 09/13
Your emails are all scanned—and that's what you agreed to Phys.Org 08/13
New Revelations Detail How The NSA Scans 75% Of The Internet Through Telco Partnerships TechCrunch 08/13
Fed up with government spying, some people are building a user-owned Internet from scratch
New Scientist 08/13
XKeyscore: NSA tool collects 'nearly everything a user does on the Internet' KurzweilAi.net 08/13
Adverts with eyes know when you're watching ... and they're already here Gizmag 07/13
'Horror film' puts Internet privacy under spotlight Phys.Org 07/13
In-Store Tracking Companies Try to Self-Regulate Privacy Slate 07/13
Viterbi tool improves online photo privacy USC 04/13
The dangers of surveillance: It's bad, but why? Phys.Org 03/13
The Threat of Silence Slate 02/13
Figuring out the future of online privacy CNN 02/13
Why Privacy Is the Future of Competition Huffington Post 11/12
Hidden Government Scanners Gizmodo 07/12
Talk of drones patrolling U.S. skies spawns anxiety Mercury News 07/12
New surveillance camera can search 36 million faces for matches in one second Phys.Org 03/12
Drones, Dogs and the Future of Privacy Wired 03/12
Google announces privacy changes across products; users can't opt out The Washington Post 01/12
Malls track shoppers' cell phones on Black Friday CNN 11/11
Liars under scrutiny can't completely suppress facial expressions University of Buffalo 07/11
Facial recognition system makes error Boston.com 07/11
Online Privacy: Can the U.S. Get Its Act Together? Business Week 05/11
Privacy Lost: The Amazing Benefits of the Completely Examined Life PC World 05/11
iPhone and Android smartphones regularly transmit their locations back to Apple and Google WSJ 04/11
Don't Worry about Who's Watching Scientific American 02/11
Hummingbird Is Really a Spy Drone ABC News 02/11
What is Traitorware? EFF 12/10
EU proposes online right to be forgotten Telegraph 11/10
A tracking device that fits on the head of a pin Phys.Org 10/10
Audio zoom picks out lone voice in the crowd NewScientist 10/10
X-Ray Vans Allow Drive By Snooping On America's Streets Forbes 09/10
Surveillance Software Knows What a Camera Sees Technology Review 06/10
'Smart dust' aims to monitor everything CNN 05/10
Internet Privacy Worries Are Eroding PCWorld 05/10
Watching the Watchers: Why Surveillance Is a Two-Way Street Popular Mechanics 10/09
Has Technology Killed Privacy? Amrit Williams Blog 09/09
12 Ways Technology Threatens Your Privacy (and How to Protect Yourself) Switched 05/09
Will Whole Genome Research Result In Genetic Profiling? Science Daily 03/08
Threats to Your Genetic Privacy U.S. News and World Report 11/07
Big Brother is watching us all BBC News 09/07
The Future of Privacy PC World 10/06


Future Privacy Web Sites and Blogs
Title Description
Canary Watch Tracks government requests for your information online
EFF Electronic Frontier Foundation
EPIC Focusing public attention on emerging privacy and civil liberties issues
Future of Privacy Forum Washington, DC based think tank
Health Privacy CDT
Privacy TechNewsWorld
Spy Equipment AskMaple.com
Technology & Liberty ACLU
The Doctor Will See You Now Genetic privacy site
The Future Of Privacy TechDirt


Article Sources
Future Privacy Article by FFA
Eye scan image courtesy of FrAcTuReD...fotos


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Many of the articles found on this web site are from a blogger that couldn't tell you the difference between hydrochloric and high colonic. I try my very best to provide you with useful, accurate information, but I don't always get it right. Please read my full disclaimer before quoting me at work, school or world conferences.