Recently, BBC technology correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones, reported on new devices that are set to monitor our every moment – and perhaps record details of those around us. This raises interesting implications for corporate security.
For example, devices such as the Autographer and Memoto, which are about to go on sale, are body-worn and will take photographs at regular intervals (perhaps twice a minute) of everything around the wearer. Is this something we should be considering for our security officers or is it something we should fear from our employees?
Couple such devices with facial recognition and if someone takes a photo of you in the street and goes home they can build up a huge picture of your life using the internet without you ever knowing about it. There goes your covert identity, just because a family member posted an image of you on Instagram!
It’s not just individuals taking advantage of this new technology. Companies too are taking interest, and this is where the privacy issues around the way the data is used begin to look very tricky. According to the BBC, cloud technology firm Appirio has issued many of its staff with a life-logging wristband, tracking everything from their food intake to their sleep patterns. It’s a voluntary scheme and the company claims it’s already proving valuable for employees and the firm. The company has also managed to cut its health insurance costs in the United States by showing its insurer the impact of this life-logging plan.
But, although the scheme is voluntary at this company, there are bound to be concerns that this kind of monitoring will become standard. Ten years from now, the BBC warns, how will an employer using life-logging technology view those who choose to opt out?
And there are wider questions about who will own all the data generated by these new devices and how careful they will be with it. The nightmare scenario is once the data is in the cloud it’s out of individual’s control and ownership is dubious.
There is a very good YouTube video demonstrating the risks to your personal data as they exist now. It has had almost 10 million views – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7pYHN9iC9I , Where this new technology will take us in 10 years, however, is frankly fascinating…..or frightening!