Governments and their regulation centric thought processes always lag the digital developments that are accelerating in our world. Typically, they are regulating to close the barn door well after the horse is across the paddock, and failing to consult those who understand the processes, so do a lousy job. Just look at the failed supermarket and petrol price “initiatives”, web site filtering, and utter failure to communicate the case supporting the NBN in anything other than clichés, amongst other failures.
Well, there is another revolution on our doorsteps, one that governments must be salivating about, if they recognise the opportunity to rope us in, as the Prism revelations in the US have demonstrated.
It is pretty obvious that recognition software is about to be a general reality, as it gets rolled out in various forms on mobile platforms. Voice, face, and biometric recognition are all technologies that are in existence, and when Apple, or Samsung stick it on a mobile platform, whooppee, off it will go, and with it, the opportunity to collect huge amounts of personal data beyond that which is collectable now. Facial recognition and digital trickery combined will enable every face (just double click anywhere in the linked photo) in a photo to be identified, by simply tying to a social media database.
What will be done with this capability?
The old “I have nothing to hide” argument is looking limp in the face of such absolute ability to identify the where, who, who with and when capabilities being delivered to just about anyone with a camera and computer. Where are the new barriers of “personal information”?
Clearly commercial uses abound, as do those for the administrative and legal tracking of individuals, but it is the nefarious uses this degree of identification can be put to that are scary.