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.