The Watch is here” touts Apple’s slogan for its wearable computer, implying that the one and only time-piece that really matters has arrived. So much for the Rolex Cosmograph and Seiko Astron when you can buy a stylish digital Apple Watch Sport, or even Apple Watch Edition crafted with 18-karat gold.Read More
In 2009, M.G. Michael and I presented the plenary article “Teaching Ethics in Wearable Computing: The Social Implications of the New ‘Veillance’” . It was the first time that the terms surveillance, dataveillance, sousveillance, and überveillance were considered together at a public gathering . We were pondering the intensification of a state of überveillance through increasingly pervasive technologies that can provide details from a big-picture satellite view right down to the smallest-common-denominator embedded-sensor view. Veiller means “to watch,” coming from the Latin vigilare, stemming from vigil, which means to be “watchful.” The prefixes sur, data, sous, and über alter the “watching” perspective and meaning. What does it mean to be watched by a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera, to watch another, to watch oneself? Roger Clarke , Steve Mann , and M.G. Michael  have defined three “types” of watching in the sociotech literature.
Wearable and embedded cameras worn by any citizen carry significant and deep personal and societal implications. A photoborg is one who mounts a camera onto any aspect of the body to record the space around him-or herself . Photoborgs may feel entirely free, masters of their own destiny; they may even feel safe that their point of view is being noted for prospective reuse. Indeed, the power that photoborgs have is clear when they put on the camera. It can be even more authoritative than the traditional CCTV overhead gazing in an unrestricted manner, given that sousveillance usually happens on the ground level. Photoborgs may be recording for their own lifelog but will inevitably capture another person in their field of view, and unless these fellow citizens also become photoborgs themselves, there is a power differential. Sousveillance carries with it huge socioethical, environmental, economic, political, and spiritual overtones.
The narrative that informs sousveillance is more relevant today than ever before due to the proliferation of new media. But where sousveillance grants citizens the ability to combat the powerful using their own evidentiary mechanism, it also grants other citizens the ability to put on the guise of the powerful. The pervasiveness of the camera that sees and hears everything can only be reconciled if we know the lifeworld of the wearer, the context of the event being captured, and how the data will be used by the stakeholder in command. The evidence emanating from cameras is endowed with obvious limitations, such as the potential for the impairment of the data through loss, manipulation, or misrepresentation . Sousveillance happens through the gaze of the one wearing the camera, just like a first-person shooter in a video game.
Sensors now come endowed in most devices, big or small, and the discrete data collected tell us much about the spatiotemporal patterns of that which is being monitored.
In 2003, WIRED published an article written by N. Shachtman  on the potentiality to lifelog everything about everyone. He wrote:
The Pentagon is about to embark on a stunningly ambitious research project designed to gather every conceivable bit of information about a person's life, index all the information and make it searchable… The embryonic LifeLog program would dump everything an individual does into a giant database: every e-mail sent or received, every picture taken, every Web page surfed, every phone call made, every TV show watched, every magazine read… All of this—and more—would combine with information gleaned from a variety of sources: a GPS transmitter to keep tabs on where that person went, audio-visual sensors to capture what he or she sees or says, and biomedical monitors to keep track of the individual's health… This gigantic amalgamation of personal information could then be used to “trace the ‘threads’ of an individual's life.”
It simply goes to show how any discovery can be tailored toward any end. Lifelogging is meant to sustain the power of the individual through reflection and learning, to enable growth, maturity and development, but here, instead, it has been hijacked by the very same stakeholder from which it was created to gain protection.
Sousveillance also drags into the equation the innocent bystander who is going about his or her everyday business and just wishes to be left alone. When we asked wearable 2.0 pioneer Steve Mann in 2009 what one should do if bystanders of a recording in a public space questioned why they were being recorded without their explicit permission, he pointed us to his request for deletion Web page . This is admittedly only a very small part of the solution and, for the most part, untenable. One just needs to view a few minutes of the Surveillance Camera Man Channel at http://www.liveleak.com/c/surveillancecameraman to understand that people generally do not wish to be filmed in someone else's field of view. Some key questions include:
In what context has the footage been taken?
How will it be used?
To whom will the footage belong?
How will the footage taken be validated and stored?
In “Digital Wearability Scenarios,” Deniz Gokyer and I provide plausible scenarios of the use of wearable cameras in a closed campus setting. Although the scenarios are not based on primary sources of evidence, they do provide conflicting perspectives on the pros and cons of wearables. As companies are engaged in even shorter market trialability of their products, the scenarios demonstrate what can go wrong with an approach that says “Let's unleash the product now and worry about repercussions later; they'll iron themselves out eventually—our job is to solely worry about engineering.” The pitfalls of such an approach are presented in my article “Sousveillance,” which also appears in this issue. The article demonstrates how emerging technologies have direct social implications. One of the biggest problems with introducing new products without commensurate market testing is the unexpected and asymmetric consequences that ensue. For instance, my privacy is breached by someone wearing a camera, and although no one else has been affected by the recorded evidence, my life is affected adversely. Laws and organizational policies especially need to quickly come up to speed as advancements in technologies happen.
The same can be said about the use and application of radio-frequency identification (RFID). Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre remind us of the way RFID was introduced into the retail market just after the turn of the century in their article “Protect Yourself from RFID.” On the one hand, tracking items for supply-chain management can help with loss prevention on the operations side of the business. On the other hand, using RFID to surreptitiously learn more about customer behavior and habits is a breach of privacy. In his article “Protecting Yourself with RFID,” William Lumpkins does not focus on the “spychips” phenomenon but rather the key benefits of RFID to industry.
PoSR describes the overlapping network transaction spaces that people traverse synchronously and asynchronously with others to maintain and use social relationships via various apps, mobile services, sensors, platforms, technologies, and conversation spaces.
Sally A. Applin and Michael D. Fischer's article, “Toward a Multiuser Social-Augmented Reality Experience,” is next in the special section, and it describes the pivotal role that social media, geolocation information, and augmented reality play in their groundbreaking concept of polysocial reality (PoSR), a framework developed for representing complex synchronous and asynchronous messaging contexts: “PoSR describes the overlapping network transaction spaces that people traverse synchronously and asynchronously with others to maintain and use social relationships via various apps, mobile services, sensors, platforms, technologies, and conversation spaces.”
For M.G. Michael and his coauthors, the discussion on veillances transcends from item-based RFID tracking sensors on things to embedded sensors on or in people. Michael et al. point to the implications that would come from a fully fledged Web of Things and People. They paint a rather dystopian future of the changes that may happen to society at large as continuous behavioral tracking takes root in the big data realm. New technologies have social implications, and these are spelled out in “Überveillance and the Web of Things and People.”
The pitfalls of a point-of-view recording—no matter how many cameras and sensors are recording and no matter from how many perspectives and stakeholders—are the limitations of video evidence. What is a whole incident? How can we denote past provocation or historical data not available during a given scene? How can we ensure that data on a mobile transmission have not been intercepted? How can we ensure data validation? We might well be on a road similar to that of DNA as admissible evidence in a court of law in terms of “eyewitness” recording of events. The key question to ask here is whether or not we can ever achieve “omniscience” through the use of seemingly “omnipresent” new media. Sensors now come endowed in most devices, big or small, and the discrete data collected tell us much about the spatiotemporal patterns of that which is being monitored. Yet, despite all the “big data,” we still struggle to make sense of what we are watching, and with a context missing (no matter how good computers are at computing), the systems remain fallible.
1. K. Michael, M. G. Michael, "Teaching ICT ethics using wearable computing: The social implications of the new ‘veillance’", Proc. Australian Point of View Technologies Conf. (AUPOV09), 2009-June.
2. K. Michael, M. G. Michael, C. Perakslis, , "Be vigilant: There are limits to veillance" in , Imperial College Press, pp. 189-206, 2014.
3. R. Clarke, "Information technology and dataveillance", Commun. ACM, vol. 31, no. 5, pp. 498-512, 1988.
4. S. Mann, "Sousveillance: inverse surveillance in multimedia imaging", 12th Annu. ACM Int. Conf. Multimedia, 2004.
5. M. G. Michael, K. Michael, "Uberveillance", 29th Int. Conf. Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners Privacy Horizons: Terra Incognita Location Based Tracking Workshop Montreal, 2007.
6. K. Michael, M. G. Michael, , , "Commentary on: Mann Steve (2012): Wearable Computing", Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2012, [online] Available: https://www.interaction-design.org/encyclopedia/wearable_computing.html.
7. K. Michael, "Keynote: The final cut—Tampering with direct evidence from wearable computers", Proc. 5th Int. Conf. Multimedia Information Networking and Security (MINES), pp. 11-12, 2013.
8. N. Shactman, "A Spy Machine of DARPA's Dreams", Wired., May 2003, [online] Available: http://archive.wired.com/techbiz/media/news/2003/05/58909?currentPage=all.
9. S. Mann, "The request for deletion (RFD)", Wearcam.org., 2009, [online] Available: http://wearcam.org/rfd.htm.
IEEE Keywords: Wearable computing, Social implications of technology, Social factors, Economics, Privacy, Surveillance, wearable computers, closed circuit television, ethical aspects, surveillance, ubiquitous computing, CCTV camera, lifelogging, socioethical implications, wearable computing, dataveillance, sousveillance, uberveillance, pervasive technologies, smallest-common-denominator embedded-sensor view, Latin vigilare, watching perspective, closed-circuit television camera.
Citation: Katina Michael, 2015, Wearables and Lifelogging: The socioethical implications, IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine, 4(2), pp. 79-81.
Some years ago, a sweet grandma in my (Christine's) neighborhood was convinced that one of her neighbors was involved in illegal activity. Although my husband and I tried to assuage her overactive mind, she insisted we purchase and deliver binoculars to enable her to perform her civic duty as a self-appointed sleuthhound.
If it had been this year, she could have placed an order on-line and a drone could deliver the packaged binoculars to her front door . Perhaps next year, she can trade in the binoculars for a perching air drone that will not only fly, but also perform a controlled stall with actuators allowing the feet to grip the branch of the tree in her neighbor's yard. The bird-like drone, with motors that can shut down to avoid energy depletion, can sit for long periods of time, recording lots and lots of data .
The current environment in which these technologies are emerging causes even the more open-minded members of society to face considerable misunderstandings, exploitation, abuse, and even physical danger as was evidenced during The Burning Man festival this past year . Not surprisingly, a plethora of issues arose at the festival pertaining to drones; many of which related to privacy. It is apparent, there are still fragmented, few, or no regulations. Yet advances in technology allow for more easily concealed devices , revolutionary capabilities of remote sensing and capture technology (e.g., LIDAR chip) , and decreasing costs to acquire devices .
What will we become? We can now buy devices to wear 24/7, logging everything we see, and sending data to our lifelog storage device in the cloud. Perhaps we are now the bird-like drone, but we move from the sky, to the branch, to the inside of people's homes, into their workspaces, and alongside them on roads, trains, and planes. We can capture their interactions, their facial expressions, and the intimate aspects of their everyday experiences . There are seemingly no limits .
Much like peer-to-peer security that has proven to be effective in society to reduce disorderly conduct in crowds , perhaps people will be paid for drone-like behavior . Perhaps, the sweet, civic-minded grandma in the neighborhood, who lifelogs to pass on a heritage to her progeny, will utilize the same device to capture peer-to-peer data and thereby subsidize her pension. What is the trajectory for society?
If the digital realm plays an ever-increasing role in developing and transmitting social norms, we must consider the many values at stake . The older as well as the younger generations may perceive this as an opportunity to become as fearless as the desert explorers who traversed unknown lands. Only today, the point-of-view #explorers are demonstrating their mean feats to a global theatre using social media in real time to their legions of online followers . Suppose lifelogs lead to an environment in which we are fact-checked against the recorded medium . Your interpretation of an event could be refuted; you would be told, “You were never into jazz.” or “That wasn't such a good time, was it?” . Can synthesized data, capture the spirit behind the poetic license one takes when telling a story to achieve a desired effect? Can an algorithm discern the varied contexts within which our behaviors were recorded? We often have different personae that change over time; and it is often necessary for an individual to have one personae for work, one for family, and yet another for the Internet .
The human experience cannot be captured and interpreted easily; we are highly complex and astoundingly dynamic beings. This is the great stuff of humanity. We are ever-changing. We embellish to affect laughter. We create what didn't exist. We make stuff up. We make up rules so we can play games. We make up institutions so we can coordinate problem-solving collective action. Data, especially when so abundant and extensive, can easily undermine such invention. One only needs to ask siblings to describe their shared childhood experiences; one could compare their stories and be exceedingly perplexed. Each sibling has created his or her own narrative; each may have invented a slightly different back story. Can algorithms or a fallible human who chooses how to personally interpret the synthesis of data, appropriately process reality ? Moreover, if it can be said that “history belongs to the winners,” then while there exists lifelogging asymmetry (some do, some don't), perhaps it could also be said, equally cynically, that “personal history belongs to the lifeloggers”? Issues arise with this historical record because a lifelogger could easily omit, misrepresent, or even distort and deceive; he or she can willfully create inaccurate narratives which could go unchecked and unchallenged.
The most delightful aspect of visiting that grandma wasn't the amusing humor derived from her comedic idiosyncrasies, but rather it was her rich storytelling. Her husband often had a different take on events. She admitted she chose to forget the painful aspects of the depression era. Yet, she wonderfully verbalized a narrative of her life and times from her perspective. Just as forgetting is an essential part of the human psyche (without which we cannot begin to function), so is the ability to create narratives . In the event of universal lifelogging, could this be lost and replaced with machine-perfected recollections? Without narrative, we have no mythos, and so we have no more explanation for the human condition than logos. We would have much less ability to create a shared sense of community through a commonly told story, and may be stuck instead with a single unalterable personae deterministically crushed by the unbearable tyranny of mundane facts captured through devices.
There are negative ramifications when we allow technology to commodify social concepts, and diminish social relations like privacy, friendship, and loyalty. The resultant consequences, such as the fragmentation of communities, the dissolution of trust, and the diminution of our ability to solve collective action problems, are serious enough. However, such invasive technologies as wearables and bearables are doing something else: they could deprive us of the ability to create personae and narratives . We may discover the obsessive literalism is an axe being taken to the very essence of what it means to be human.
IEEE Keywords: Special issues and sections, Drones, Privacy, Behavioral science, Security, Information processing,Wearable computers, Surveillance
Citation: Jeremy Pitt, Christine Perakslis, Katina Michael, "Drones Humanus", IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, Volume: 33, Issue: 2, Summer 2014, pp. 38 - 39, Date of Publication: 02 June 2014, DOI: 10.1109/MTS.2014.2319951
Embedded sensors provide us with a range of conveniences that many of us take for granted in our everyday life.
They first appeared in static items — everything from auto-flushing the common lavatory to auto-dispensing of soap and water for handwashing.
Then these sensors — for identification, location, condition monitoring, point-of-view and more — were embedded in mobile objects. Our vehicles, tablets, smart phones, even contactless smart cards say a lot about our behaviors, traits, likes and dislikes as we lug them around with us everywhere we go.
In a way, we've become an extension of these technological breakthroughs. The devices we carry take on a life of their own — sending binary data upstream and downstream in the name of better connectivity, awareness, and ambient intelligence.
But it seems we want more — or at least that is what the tech giants are leading us to believe.
Enter wearable computers — digital glasses, watches, headbands, armbands and other apparel that can lifelog and record visual evidence — tell you where you are on the Earth's surface and how to navigate to your destination, alert you of your physical condition (heart and pulse rate monitors), and even inform you when you are running late to catch a plane, offering rescheduling advice. These devices are windows to others through social networking, are bridges to storage centers, and even on occasion are companions as they listen to your commands and respond like a personal assistant.
For example, Google Glass, is a wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display that acts on voice commands like “take a picture” and allows you to record hands free. You can share what you see live with your social network and it provides directions right in front of your eyes. Glass even syncs your deadlines with speed, distance, and time data critical to forthcoming appointments.
Google is not alone.
Microsoft was in the business of life-logging more than a decade ago with its SenseCam device, which has now been replaced by the Autographer. Initially developed to help those suffering with dementia as a memory aid, the Autographer takes a five-megapixel picture about 2000 times a day and can be replayed in fast-forward mode in about five minutes. It is jam-packed with sensors that provide a context for the photo including: accelerometer, light sensor, magnetometer, infra-red motion detector, and thermometer, and also contains a GPS chipset.
The slim-line Memoto is the latest gadget to enter the wearable space. Far less obtrusive than Glass or Autographer, it can be pinned onto your shirt. It takes a snap every 30 seconds, and is so lightweight that you quickly forget you are even wearing it.
These devices make computers part of the human interface. But what are the implications of inviting all this technology onto the body?
What are the implications for individuals, families, businesses and society at large, if everywhere we go we are connected to the “web of things” and people, and we continue to thoughtlessly and almost unconsciously leave behind intricate and intimate digital chronicles of ourselves as we interact with the world around us?
We seem to be producing innovations at an ever-increasing rate and expect adoption to match that cycle of change. But while humans have limitations, technologies do not.
We can keep developing at an incredible speed, but there are many questions about trust, privacy, security, and the effects on psychological well-being, that if left unaddressed could have major risky and often negative societal effects.
In research we conducted into location-based services in Australia we found people trust technology and its conclusions more than they trust a first-person eyewitness account. This is especially true of locational information taken from GPS devices, despite that plotted coordinates are not always accurate or reliable.
For example, partners became suspicious of their loved one if they perceived them to be loitering for extended periods of time at points of interest (for example, a train station).
In other cases parents who used GPS location-based social networking apps were surprised how curious they were in tracking their children, even if they were young adults. What had been setup for an easy pickup capability was being used for secondary purposes.
The most invasive feature of all these wearables however, is the image sensor that can take pictures in an outward-looking fashion.
The claim is often made that we are under surveillance by CCTV even within leisure centers and change rooms. But having a Glass device, Autographer, or Memoto recording while you are in a private space such as a “public” washroom provides all sorts of nightmare scenarios. The camera is looking outward, not at you.
Consider the following simple scenario. A male goes to the toilet. As he goes about his business he does not look down while wearing a digital camera but he looks straight ahead. This is selective recording, in a way, a type of censorship. Even worse, while the male goes to wash his hands, he takes a look into the mirror, and the reflection records someone else going to the toilet with their crown jewels in full view.
Imagine now very different contexts. What happens when someone is disciplining their child about an incident — are they recording the wrongdoings of the child as they try to make them understand why their actions were inappropriate?
What happens when people are having an argument, and things that should never be uttered come into the fore disclosing very personal details or behavior that was irrational in speech and captured on Glass or triggering other command-based actions automatically? The list goes on and on. Surely the camera MUST be turned off.
Those who believe that they will remember to turn off the camera, or will not be tempted to keep the camera “rolling”, or will “delete” the data gathered at a later date, are only kidding themselves. We can hardly delete our email records, let alone the thousands of pictures or images we take each day.
The recording of sensitive data might also increase criminality rather than reduce it.
The power to exclude, delete or misrepresent an event is with the wearer and not the passive passer-by. There is an asymmetry here that cannot be rectified, unless the passive participant becomes an active wearer themselves. And this is not only unfeasible, but I would argue undesirable. At what point do we say then enough is enough?
We are challenging fundamental human rights through the adoption of new technologies, which are enslaving us to a paradigm of instantaneous reality-TV style living. We are seduced into providing ever more of our personal selves without any concerns for the protection of our personal data.
Who owns the data emanating from these devices, if the information is stored somewhere other than the device itself? Does that mean I lose my capacity to own my own set of histories relating to my physiological characteristics as they are sold on to third party suppliers?
Who will return my sense of self, after I have given it away to someone else? How do I ensure that I do not bring to myself those age-old computer problems that have plagued us already — the endless need for upgrades, the endless need for customer service call-backs, and that blue screen of death?
We need to face up to these real and proportional matters because they not only have lawful implications, but implications for our humanity.
Citation: Katina Michael, "For Now We See Through a Glass, Darkly", IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, Volume: 32, Issue: 4, winter 2013, pp. 4 - 5, Date of Publication: 06 December 2013, DOI: 10.1109/MTS.2013.2286423
It was in July 2012 that Steve Mann and I corresponded on the possibility of hosting a conference on wearable computing in Toronto, Canada. Steve had just returned home from a family holiday to France and publicly blogged about an unfortunate incident that had happened to him while away. On 17th July 2012 he posted: “Physical assault by McDonald’s for wearing Digital Eye Glass”. I could not be helped but to be reminded of that exchange during Star Wars between Luke Skywalker and the bartender:
We both knew the timing was right for such an event that was not just a technical engineering or applied orientation on the theme of smart worlds, but an event that would grapple with the dichotomies of transparency and human rights, privacy and security, and of course technology and society more broadly. If I could credit Mann for one thing, beyond his savvy inclination toward innovation, it is that he has multiple dimensions to his thought, seeing the same problem through different lenses- not just eyetaps but the big picture view.
The basic premise for ISTAS13 was- if the numbers of people wearing cameras grew substantially by 2015 what would be the ensuing social implications? Rather than wait to answer that question in 2015, we decided to begin proactively with our intent, so as outcomes from the conference would be considered as viable feedback into the design process of these emerging devices that would be worn on the body much like a watch or arm band.
The opportunity to deliver the proposed conference under IEEE SSIT’s annual conference, the IEEE Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS), was an opportunity we could not pass up, and after gaining approval from the board of governors of SSIT in October 2012, we went full steam ahead.
I don’t know too many people who would bravely put an international conference of standing together within a 9 month timeframe but I was astounded by the passion of everyone I came into contact with- from Ryan Janzen our youthful and switched on Organising Chair, to Steve Mann our powerhouse engineer who seemed to be available all day and all night at times as General Chair, our absolutely dedicated dynamic duo Alexander Hayes and Susannah Sabine as publicity chairs and web developers/masters, to Russell Verbeeten who managed to seal some very important and outstanding patronage and exhibits for us to enjoy at the conference. I also cannot forget the amazing volunteerism of members of the EyeTap Laboratory, most of them students of Steve Mann. These young men and women are our future, and it has been refreshing to see firsthand their approaches to philosophy, deep thinking about society, and how they will contribute both great innovations and imagination to the tech sector. I also thank Doug Nix who was there at the vital beginning and organized all our sponsors and submitted IEEE paperwork, and former chair Rabiz Foda enthusiastic within IEEE Toronto Chapter, and Purav Patel our former treasurer who left us in excellent condition before some personal matters presided in priority. Thanks also to the patient staff at IEEE Conferences.
Of my program committee, I say especially a thank you. You never tired of my messaging to you, for additional reviews when they were needed, and in re-reviewing on occasion to ensure that the appropriate changes had been made. Despite that we have 80 or so papers on the program, 40 full papers were finally accepted, and another 40 abstract only papers through invitation, plenary or otherwise. We received over 110 submissions for the conference which was substantial given the timelines. To our ad-hoc reviewers, I thank you too- even when you could not offer substantial commentary you did provide us with feedback which in turn helped our authors submit stronger pieces of work.
Thank you to the keynotes of Steve Mann, Marvin Minsky, Ray Kurzweil, Gordon Bell, and David Brin. On occasion I have had to pinch myself to remind myself that such a line up was possible. To our top class invited and plenary speakers- (I): Thad Starner, Ann Cavoukian, Colonel Lisa Shay, Isabel Pedersen, Cathal Gurrin, Monique Morrow, Teemu Leinonen, Natasha Dow Schull, Jeremy Pitt, Jean-Gabriel Ganascia, Carolyn McGregor, Emil M. Petriu, Ori Inbar, Nikola Serbedzija, Clint Zeagler, Rob Manson, Helen Papagiannis, (P): Matthew Schroyer, Jeff Robbins, Martin Kallstrom, Susan Herman, Daniel Kish, Ellen M. McGee, Corey Manders, Leigh Blackall, and Pia Waugh… I am privileged to call you friends. You all share one amazing quality- of course your expertise goes without saying, but you all wanted to be a part of this debate from the instant I asked you to be a part of the event. I will also say openly to the academic community, that you paid your own way to get to ISTAS13, and that goodwill won’t be forgotten especially during these economic times.
Our program represents diversity- on day 1 at Hart House we have a day dedicated to engineering; day 2 and 3 will be at the Bahen Centre respectively addressing topics to do with application development/design methods and the socio-legislative implications of wearables.
As an indication of the internationalization of this conference delegates and paper submissions have come from the following nation states: Australia, Canada, England, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United States of America, Uruguay. We also have representation from a full range of sectors including commercial, government, non-government organisations, and users. We appreciate the participation of the Privacy and Information Commissioner of Ontario, the American Civil Liberties Union, companies like EPSON, APX Labs, META, CISCO, Microsoft, ESRI, Memoto, Autographer, buildAR, Streamfolio, Augmate and Infinty Augmented Reality, Institute for Infocomm Research; as well as institutions and industry research and development units, such as the University of Wollongong, uberveillance.com, Optinvent, Singularity Weblog.
Our co-sponsors and technical sponsors also need to be acknowledged including: IEEE SSIT, IFMBE (International Federation of Medical and Biological Engineering), University of Wollongong, University of Toronto, PSES (Product Safety Engineering Society). The breadth and depth of the patrons and sponsors indicates the growing importance of such dialogue today. Our delegate list also welcomes participation from Sony, Samsung, Qualcomm, Gartner, Verizon, Blackberry, Thalmic Labs, Ambient Ease, Telepresence Systems, OMG Life, Myplanet Digital, BMC Software, Smart Street Worlds, Illuminating Concepts, KIWI Wearables, LG Electronics. It is great to see this industry involvement and we hope we can really provide some substantial food for thought as we all contribute to technologies with ever-changing impacts on our life.
A note on the peer review process that was followed in this conference. Authors had the opportunity to either submit “abstract only” presentations, short papers of no more than 2,000 words or full papers of 5,000 words or more. Papers were sent to external reviewers and each paper received at least two blind reviews. Where there was a discrepancy in opinion an individual author may have received three or even four reviews. A list of reviewers can be found in this booklet. A note, that full papers were the only papers to undergo peer review. Abstracts and short papers were however vetted by an individual member from the program committee for technical accuracy.
What the general chair, organizing committee, and program committee can promise you all, is that this is just the beginning of the discussion on VEILLANCE. With Roger Clarke’s dataveillance conception, Steve Mann’s sousveillance conception, and MG Michael’s uberveillance conception, the stage is set for “watching”. All of these perspectives are vital and their historical contributions must reflect a new language of understanding, as technology far outstrips our current laws and value systems. Where to next? We hope you will join the discussion!
Citation: Katina Michael, "Welcome Message from The Program Committee Chair", International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS13), 27-29 June 2013, University of Toronto, Canada, Info7-Info9, DOI: 10.1109/ISTAS.2013.6613093
I am writing in response to the article written by Katherine Danks titled: “Keeping crims on track from space” which appeared on the 12th of September on page 16. I am all for security for the sake of the common good but the widespread introduction of these kinds of tracking technologies without the commensurate consideration of socio-ethical implications means they are not a viable solution. Our human rights are at stake if we do not assess these technologies properly before deployment.
Since 2006, some Australian cricketers have been using location-based body wearable technologies, strapped to various parts of their bodies, to record their match fitness levels and productivity on the field. Observers have noted that some players may even have attempted to alter their match stats by keeping their heart rate up in between deliveries, or trying to run faster between wickets! The bottom line is that these technologies are not infallible. They can be duped.
The problem with attempting to play God is that we can never have total knowledge of proceedings, no matter what technologies we use to look up people remotely to ensure that they are doing what they are supposed to be doing. At best we can have near-presence, everywhere and simultaneously but this too cannot solely be relied upon due to technical and other resource limitations.
In short, technology cannot be trusted because the complete picture will always be missing. Ironically the new technologies will be susceptible to manipulation, misrepresentation, and misinterpretation of information. The impairment of data in this new breed of high-tech gadgetry is a risk that many have underestimated, if at all considered.
While we are not all wearing a “ball and chain” yet- our smart phones are strapped to us all day and at arm’s length at night. These devices are already monitoring our identity through a SIM card, our location through onboard GPS chipsets, and our activities through accelerometers. The only thing that’s left really is for us to herald in the age of the almighty implant through radio-frequency identification.
Recently, South Australia’s Police Commissioner Mal Hyde stated that there were quite a few different groups of people he’d like to see microchipped despite the acknowledgement that this kind of proposal would never see the light of day. But he did add that the future might bring a lot of different possibilities. A Sunshine Coast MP Peter Wellington was also cited as saying that he would like to see child sex offenders microchipped.
And it was only a few months ago that wearable GPS monitoring devices were embraced by the Queensland State Government for use in paedophiles, and sufferers of mental illness. Which will be the next minority group in society to be tagged before the track and trace technology is widely diffused into society?
Katina Michael, Associate Professor, School of Information Systems and Technology, University of Wollongong
Unpublished work. SMH did not print.