I’m editing a special edition of the journal, Information, with the title, ‘The End of Privacy?’
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 December 2019
Special Issue Information
We all know how hard technological forecasting can be. The technology itself, even in isolation, can be difficult to predict a few years into the future, but taking into account the wider social, legal, political, economic, environmental and demographic fallout, and throwing in some ethics and morality too, it becomes next to impossible. There’s too much to think about. Whilst some of us might have an idea of where, for example, the Internet of Things might be in five years’ time or, separately, artificial intelligence, robotics and automation, big data analytics, network connectivity, etc., putting it all together into a vision of this fully-automated, AI/big-data-driven, always-on/always-connected world is probably beyond most of us.
Thus the plan here is to focus on one issue that all these factors impact upon, personal privacy, and to pose a fairly simple question: Will it be possible to have personal data (secrets) in the world that future technology will bring us into? What possibilities (benefits and threats) will new technology open us up to? From individuals up to governments and corporations, how easily will information be shared and (how) can it be secured? To what extent can we realistically be protected by legislation? Where will politics and economics be brought to bear? Ultimately, what control will we have?
I’ve put together a deliberately provocative discussion paper at https://vicgrout.net/2018/11/16/no-more-privacy-any-more-just-putting-this-out-there/, in which I’ve outlined just one of a number of possible nightmare scenarios. What others are there? Does the outlook have to be this gloomy? Is there an alternative in which we can get this to work for the common good, without anything to fear?
The scope of this Special Issue if fairly wide and, I hope, should be attractive to researchers and futurists across many fields. We can consider emerging technologies, of course, but hopefully the wider social impact too. Please contact me directly if you’d like to discuss any ideas you have. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing where we go with this.
Prof. Vic Grout
Special Issue Editor
Prof. Vic Grout
Department of Computing, Wrexham Glyndŵr University, Wrexham LLI1 2AW, UK
Interests: Futurology; Emerging Technology; Technology Ethics; Social, legal and political impact of technology; Technocapitalism; Privacy; Personal Data; Big Data Analytics; Big Data Algorithms, Internet of Things; Artificial Intelligence