That is what we discuss at futurist conferences but it is really difficult to say because so much of the technology we have consists in spin-offs, usually from the military/ industrial complex. A lot of the technology has been and is being developed in secret. We have good ideas of what some of it is, but by no means all of it. I think in 30 years time though, we will have got used to almost continuous surveillance, even on public thoroughfares, and that to me is really one of the most ominous aspects of the element of technology. We will accept it because of fear, and fear is the strongest conditioner. In many cases, technology is developing in relationship to a war on terrorism, both real and imagined, and this conditions us to accept the surveillance of people in all circumstances. I think probably we will have a lot less personal freedom and there will be technologies that will help to distract us from having these personal freedoms. I think part of the technology that is developing is intended to distract us away from thinking and toward becoming less aware of what is going on in our governments and in our military. Social media has been used in popular protests to considerable effect, but it can be swamped and used for disinformation just as easily.Read More
So what do I see? I see little tiny cameras in everyday objects, we’ve already been speaking about the Internet of Things—the web of things and people—and these individual objects will come alive once they have a place via IP on the Internet. So you will be able to speak to your fridge; know when there is energy being used in your home; your TV will automatically shut off when you leave the room. So all of these appliances will not only be talking with you, but also with the suppliers, the organisations that you bought these devices from. So you won’t have to worry about warranty cards; the physical lifetime of your device will alert you to the fact that you’ve had this washing machine for two years, it requires service. So our everyday objects will become smart and alive, and we will be interacting with them. So it’s no longer people-to-people communications or people-to-machine, but actually the juxtaposition of this where machines start to talk to people.Read More
In 1971, I was working in the (then) computer industry, and undertaking a 'social issues' unit towards my degree. A couple of chemical engineering students made wild claims about the harm that computers would do to society. After spending time debunking most of what they said, I was left with a couple of points that they'd made about the impact of computers on privacy that were both realistic and serious. I've been involved throughout the four decades since then, as consultant, as researcher and as advocate.Read More
Good afternoon everyone. My name is William Herbert, and for identification purposes only I am the Deputy Chair of the New York State Public Employment Relations Board. You may be wondering why am I here. In fact, my scholarship has been involved with issues involving RFID, GPS and other forms of technology, as a legal perspective. I was asked to moderate, I think partially, this panel because of my background in labour relations, in which we have conflicting views frequently in labour, and my agency’s role is frequently brought in to try to bring some kind of bridges between varying positions on issues, at least in the workplace. We have over the past two days been very fortunate to hear very diverse viewpoints on the issue of RFID. And I thought it was appropriate that we try to bring those diverging voices together in seeking to bring some degree of bridging of these different ideas to try to aim towards bringing some degree of harmony about a perspective, or at least the first steps towards that perspective. As Roger Clarke mentioned earlier in his talk, there is a need for this kind of dialogue and I think this panel will be a very good first step or second step in that process.
So the question I'm going to be asking for the panellists today is: can societies develop a balanced response to radio-frequency identification (RFID)? And when I use the word RFID, I'm discussing both the technology, not limited to implants, but just the technology itself. So with that question, I'm going to first ask Roger to discuss whether societies can develop a balanced response to RFID technology.Read More
Very good question. I did get a surge, it was an electrical current. In terms of how it actually felt, this is going to be a silly answer, but this is how it is- it felt like my wife was communicating with me. It's like you are listening to me on the phone now, how does it feel like to hear me talking? So when I received the first pulse knowing that was from my wife, but my brain knew that it was my wife, the signal that I was looking forward to.Read More
And all security fails. It may fail catechismically, catastrophically or it could be just little failures. But little failures damage individuals catastrophically. The nation may be fairly secure but individuals become very damaged.Read More