Tuesday, September 11, 2007

2020: The future of surveillance

Imagine a world where …

- every single one of your activities outside your home was monitored on closed-circuit cameras

- your computer’s ip address was fixed, allowing anyone to track your activity and making your computer a hot property for thieves wanting to hide their identity

- all monetary currency has disappeared and your electronic transactions are all tracked, unless you pay extra to "scrub" your transaction

- you will be required by law to wear an identity transponder at all times so that you can be readily identified

- your insurance company is able to monitor the groceries you buy and what you consume in a restaurant in order to charge higher rates to subscribers who eat junk foods

These are just some of the predictions forecast in DM News by Robert Gellman, a Washington-based privacy and information policy consultant and former chief counsel to the U.S. House subcommittee on information, justice, transportation and agriculture.

2020 is just 13 years away – how close are we to living in the world that Gellman predicts?

Photo by: Gavin Stewart, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0


Mike Scott said...

That sure is pretty extreme. I know that over in Europe and the UK they have quite a bit more surveillance then we have here in the US.

Have you ever heard that video, or web site, where the guy is ordering a pizza, and it wants to charge him an inordinate amount because he has high cholesterol? They don't allow him bacon either. Then they query is checking account and see that he doesn't have enough to pay for it.

I honestly don't see it coming to that, but what is that saying, "Those who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither". Even that statement is from an extreme.

IanP said...

I have suggested to Gellman that his predictions are 10 years too late.

In Europe/UK it all begins in 2010.


Rich said...

I think it will be easier than that.

How about ... cell phones and cpus will require GPS locator chips, making it safer in the even of an emergency. Consumers will readily opt-in to advertising offers and insurance tracking programs for "discounts."

The idea are spot on ... the packaging will push it forward.


Sharon E. Herbert said...

Mike, I'll have to look for that video! As Ian's comment indicates, the level of surveillance in the UK at least is significantly higher and probably a sign of what's to come here.

Ian - you have some really interesting information about what's happening in 2010 that may facilitate Gellman's predictions and more; I've added you to my Blogroll.

Rich - really good points, particularly about consumer behaviour, although my earlier post about Facebook's negative option shows that consumers won't even need to provide their consent to "opt in".

Thanks for your comments all!


Bimmy the Bookish said...

Well, it's one thing that I know that I earn all my Tesco club card points in the bakery and ice cream sections, but its quite perturbing to get my tesco club card "special offer" vouchers for.... bakery items and ice cream!! Dang. They know exactly what I'm spending my money on in their shop. I find that more eery than CCTV.