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? Continue reading
1 Comment | tags: AI, Big Connectivity, Big Data, indentification, IoT, Privacy, RIoT | posted in Computer Science, Hardware, Industry, Philosophy, Politics, Software
OK, some of this material isn’t new but I’ve been asked to edit a special (Information) journal edition on (something like) ‘Will AI, Big Data and the IoT Mean the End of Privacy?’ The plan is to circulate a ‘discussion paper’ to encourage submissions. What follows is an early draft of that (extended from The Prof on a Train Game) so it won’t hurt to get it ‘out there’ as soon as possible. Comments welcome below, by email, message, whatever …
The embodiment of the potential loss of privacy through a combination of AI, big data and IoT technology might be something like an integrated app capable of recognising anyone, anytime, anywhere: a sort of ‘Shazam for People‘, but one capable of returning seriously personal material about the individual. How credible is such a system? And what might stop it?
Introduction: A Future Scenario?
It’s 2025 or thereabouts. You meet someone at an international conference. Even before they’ve started to introduce themselves, your IoT augmented reality glasses have told you everything you needed to know … and a lot more you didn’t.
Jerry Gonzales. Born (02/11/1970): Glasgow, UK, dual (plus USA) citizenship; 49 years old. Married 12/12/1994 (Ellen Gonzales, nee Schwartz), divorced 08/06/2003; two daughters (Kate: 23, Sarah: 17); one son (David: 20). Previous employment: Microsoft, IBM, University of Pwllheli; current: unemployed. Health: smoker, heavy drinker, recurrent lung problems, diabetic, depression. Homeowner (previous); now public housing. Credit rating: poor (bankruptcy 10/10/2007); Insurance risk: high. Politics: Republican. etc., …, Sport: supports Boston Red Sox and Manchester United FC. …, Pornography: prefers straight but with mild abuse …, etc., etc.
1 Comment | tags: Big Data, Data algorithms, Data apps, Identification Vector, IoT, IV, Personal data, Personal Identification Mark, PIM, Privacy, RIoT, SfP, Shazam | posted in Algorithms, Computer Science, Computing, Hardware, Industry, Politics, Programming, Software
(or “Is ‘Everything’ Going to be OK?”)
A very brief note, this one, along the lines of, “Why do we always over-hype ideas? Even the good ones?”
So is it the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) or the ‘Internet of Everything’ (IoE)? Or are they different things? If so, what’s the difference?
Well, we’ve been talking about the IoT for some time now. And it certainly seems to some that the IoE is just a better-sounding name for it. Cisco though seem to have other ideas. Here, “Cisco Senior Vice President Rob Soderbery explains how technology transitions like the Internet of Things are enabling the Internet of Everything to revolutionize industries and create value.” Any idea what that actually means? Nope, thought not. Continue reading
Leave a comment | tags: Big Connectivity, Big Data, Cisco, Internet of Everything, Internet of Things, IoE, IoT, Real Internet of Things, RIoT, Semantic Web, Web Intelligence | posted in Computer Science, Computing, Hardware, Industry, Politics
(This post is derived from a talk given at the 2012 Wrexham Science Festival.)
There are so many different ways of describing the Internet of Things. On the one hand, maybe it’s what the original Internet was always destined to be; on the other, it’s about as boring as it gets. Tag just about anything and everything we can stick a label on, let them talk to each other, then turn the existing Internet into a massive database of things that can be referenced, interconnected and used any which way we like. Great if you really need your fridge to reorder the milk for you or the plants to water themselves but hardly inspirational. Two features, however, give the proposed (and not yet fully considered) IoT a serious ‘Oooh!’ factor …
Firstly, the ever-increasing intelligence of the Internet will allow us to manipulate this data in new and exciting ways. More and more, the evolving Semantic Web will be able to understand the information it’s working with and make the best use of it for our benefit. Our personal and working lives are about to become completely automated and made easier by web intelligence. Secondly, and potentially on the darker side, other hardware and software developments will extend the IoT’s reach. Face-recognition, image-scanners and numerous other advanced detectors and sensors will soon mean that everything can be read, whether it’s deliberately labelled or not. We, and everything we use or own, may soon become part of the Real Internet of Things (RIoT) and we might have to expect to be identified and traced in everything we do. So what will the future will look like? Are we heading for paradise or Big Brother? Continue reading
7 Comments | tags: 2012 Wrexham Science Festival, EASYLINE, Internet of Things, IoT, Machine to Machine, Personal data, Privacy, Radio-frequency identification, Real Internet of Things, RFID, RIoT, Semantic Web, Smarter Planet | posted in Computer Science, Computing, Engineering, Philosophy, Politics, Science