Privacy

October 5, 2009 § Leave a comment

Are you losing your privacy? Is it already gone? Do you care?

This CNet article goes on at length about how easy it is to identify individuals, either by finding a minimal amount of information, as I’ve touched on before, or even just analyzing what movies they watch. It also touches on facial recognition, and how that technology is improving. Check out this TAT demo, or go take a look at face.com – here’s a good TechCrunch article about the face.com.

So, if you have a picture, your face can be recognized, linked to your profile, which can then be linked to other accounts you have online, essentially making your whole online persona transparent with no more than a glorified cell phone. Of course, at some point, all of that can be linked to your search history, your browsing habits, your TV watching, your online purchases, your offline purchases, and probably lots of things I haven’t thought of.

The interesting question to me is – do you care? I mean, everybody already knows this, right? Yet people still post things online (frequently) that they should probably just keep to themselves.

I have some development going on right now to test this out – I’m interested to see how much privacy people are willing to trade for convenience. Hopefully I’ll have that up and going within the next few months.

Of course, maybe the whole thing is inevitable. Maybe the process of giving up individual freedoms and individual privacy is a necessary step in our evolution as a species. Maybe it’s something we’re going to have to learn to accept and figure out how to deal with. It’s not a popular or comfortable thought, but maybe it’s the path forward. Sometimes discarding what is comfortable, thinking outside of our cozy little box, and seeing randomness, is necessary to come up with truly new ideas and lead the way.

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