WS: In your opinion, what should people be worried about? Or maybe, looking out for?
KM: People need to think about what it means to record others without their permission whether in a public or private space. Checking in at a location might mean revealing someone's personal information for instance without their permission. We also need to think about the convergence of Digital Glass with social media and other apps out there. We must not be naive about the uses- history has proven time and time again- early adopters of new technologies will exploit them in ways that were never intended and not beneficial to society. The problem with unleashing a technology that has no real obvious utility is that we are letting the imagination stretch- that might be great for app building and creative industries- but also might be ugly with respect to negative uses. We like to read about novel applications and "benefits to humanity" stories but don't like to venture into stories of abuse.
We often forget about the asymmetry that comes with new innovations, or belittle the side effects as being applicable to the unlucky few and teething problems of a prototype. Tell that to the mother of a teenager who has committed suicide after her partner has uploaded comprising video/images to the Internet that have subsequently gone viral. Just one of many cases which are tragic- http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/14/17747411-california-case-another-three-part-tragedy-of-rape-cyber-bullying-and-suicide?lite The point here is not that the attackers would not have done what they did without a smartphone to take pictures of the attack but that in the future we will simply see more explicit evidence. Our acts might be seen as a part of a reality tv show, but wearers might not realise the repercussions of their actions in the physical world.
We need to introduce adequate policies within for instance the educational use of digital glass, the workplace use of digital glass, and need to educate consumers using scenarios about when it might or might not be appropriate to turn on glass. The other issue has to do with legislation. Wearers might find themselves in conflict with the law and they need to know their rights but also when they are breaking the law by their actions. In this case, one size does NOT fit all.
WS: You mentioned Francis Fukuyama calling these some of the worlds most dangerous ideas, what does that mean?
KM: It has to do with the nature of control and surveillance. Fukuyama looks at the impact of drones and their consequences. You will find his work quoted in many places- he is a political scientist at Stanford University.
WS: Could these technologies fall into the "wrong hands"?
KM: Sure they can. Imagine a crowd full of people wearing Glass and recording- now imagine trying to capture someone who is conducting covert surveillance? A bit of an oxymoron. This leads to the privatisation of intelligence gathering (spy agencies not of that given State). I have written a blogpost talking about human drones-- wearers of cameras that act like drones, being paid potentially to gather first-person video up and down public streets- for applications in retail among many others. http://veillance.me/blog/2013/2/5/drones-r-us
WS: What could the consequences of those be?
KM: We lose our trust in social structures where we have previously felt safe. This breaks down the very fibres that make society work. There is an immediate chilling effect- people, especially those suffering from mental illness will find it difficult to venture out into "safe" zones for fear of being recorded or otherwise.
WS: Are people ignorant to the changing world around them?
KM: I think for the greater part people are aware of the rapid changes happening via new technologies but feel powerless as to what to do about it. They also do not have time to sit and think about the implications of policies they have agreed to because things move at webspeed and no sooner have they adopted one technology than they are barraged with even newer technologies to "try and buy". It is an endless spiral- we have to have the latest gadget these days, or be on board the latest social media app making waves or we simple aren't with it etc. Ask most technology developers/providers these days and they will sell you the story that new technologies will enable you to be empowered. Yes, I agree, if used the right way you can certainly apply new technology for good, to help in time management, for reflection, for knowledge discovery and knowledge sharing. But these new technologies are also changing the dynamics between how people communicate, engage one another, and belong to a group or community, at times detrimentally, lending themselves to anti-social behaviours either deliberately or through negligence.
Where will all this data be stored? Who will have access to it? What are individual privacy rights? Intellectual property rights? Do we "YouTubify" our life? How does that profit us? What are the risks of the new PersonView world? What next? Implantable cameras? * here is a patent by Steve Mann in 2000 on the implantable camera-- http://brevets-patents.ic.gc.ca/opic-cipo/cpd/eng/patent/2313693/summary.html?query=implantable+camera&start=1&num=50&type=basic_search
Are we thus beckoning forth an uberveillance society? Always on implantables? Big brother on the inside looking out?