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Privacy today (3)

March 12, 2014

Kevin Kelly writes an interesting article at Wired that counters the common reaction to continuous surveillance. The last sentence of the second paragraph below makes a good point, though he doesn’t seem to give much time to the idea of being able to choose whether you’re a subject of surveillance.

But read and decide for yourself.

Why You Should Embrace Surveillance, Not Fight It

I once worked with Steven Spielberg on the development of Minority Report, derived from the short story by Philip K. Dick featuring a future society that uses surveillance to arrest criminals before they commit a crime. I have to admit I thought Dick’s idea of “pre-crime” to be unrealistic back then. I don’t anymore.

Most likely, 50 years from now ubiquitous monitoring and surveillance will be the norm. The internet is a tracking machine. It is engineered to track. We will ceaselessly self-track and be tracked by the greater network, corporations, and governments. Everything that can be measured is already tracked, and all that was previously unmeasureable is becoming quantified, digitized, and trackable.
If today’s social media has taught us anything about ourselves as a species it is that the human impulse to share trumps the human impulse for privacy.

We’re expanding the data sphere to sci-fi levels and there’s no stopping it. Too many of the benefits we covet derive from it. So our central choice now is whether this surveillance is a secret, one-way panopticon — or a mutual, transparent kind of “coveillance” that involves watching the watchers. The first option is hell, the second redeemable.

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