Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Pissing in the privacy wind

That is what it seems like. There often seems to be a spate of articles droning on [pun intended] about the withering away of privacy rights that we had taken for granted because we have a Constitution that guarantees those rights. Right!

But the president and congress seem hell-bent on taking away those rights or carving out exceptions that accomplish that goal. And the electorate seems all too happy to watch constitutional rights, especially privacy, disappear.

Fortunately, the Bill of Rights are amendments that can easily be clipped from the Constitution.

Mostly it is the younger set that in the name of social connectedness and mobility willingly, and naively, dispel notions of privacy to gain a place on Facebook.

As we become more connected the easier that not only businesses can track individuals, but also the government.  Consider that GM by 2015 intends to have all its vehicles connected to the Internet.

Consider this too that cameras will be able to take photos and assemble video clips of all occupants. “It allows somebody to stay connected to your car even if you’re not in it.” And just who might be the somebody? [Web-connected cars bring privacy concerns].

The Guardian UK article sounds the right tone: "And while cutting-edge technologies bring new – and yes, different! – threats to our personal privacy, the right response can be found in the spirit of a document written well before human beings ever conceived of an all-seeing eye in the sky: the Bill of Rights." [Drones are coming home to skies near you: feel safer?].

Finally consider these two links, among many, from the ACLU Privacy Matters Blog. "Companies are now able to search and analyse up to two years of Twitter updates for market research purposes." [BBC].

And secondly, from Huffington Post about border patrol use of drones:  "In addition to the potential electronic intercept capability [ ability to listen in on cell phone calls or read text messages], the documents show that CBP's drones are already capable of distinguishing human forms. The drones are also supposed to be able to detect, recognize and identify a standing human being from the air."

In a recent post I noted that Homeland Security sees that 100 miles surrounding the US Border is game for warrantless searches.

And more from Huffington Post is that apparently the drones can be used for facial recognition. Given that technology, especially of this type, filters down from the military and intelligence communities - all of these possibilities are in fact proven and in use.

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