Orwell’s 1984 revisited: Uberveillance

humans-are-not-petsAfter the Google latitude story, we became suspicious and  started to collect stories about analogous threats on our privacy. We found some that remind us of the gloomy furure of William Gibson Neuromancer. One thing is clear, if some regime, let it be the US, Russian or Chinese wants to install a fascist state, it wil have a plethora of technical means at his disposition to track down people, to spy on them, mostly without their consent and often without their knowledge.
Jeremy’s Bentam panoptical society is close. The Panopticon is a type of prison building designed by English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham in 1785. The concept of the design is to allow an observer to observe (-opticon) all (pan-) prisoners without the prisoners being able to tell whether they are being watched, thereby conveying what one architect has called the “sentiment of an invisible omniscience.

Just reach what gloomy future is before us.

Humans ‘will be implanted with microchips’

All Australians could be implanted with microchips for tracking and identification within the next two or three generations, a prominent academic says. Michael G Michael from the University of Wollongong’s School of Information Systems and Technology, has coined the term “uberveillance” to describe the emerging trend of all-encompassing surveillance. “Uberveillance is not on the outside looking down, but on the inside looking out through a microchip that is embedded in our bodies,” Dr Michael told ninemsn. Microchips are commonly implanted into animals to reveal identification details when scanned and similar devices have been used with Alzheimers patients.

US company VeriChip is already using implantable microchips, which store a 16-digit unique identification number, on humans for medical purposes… He also predicted that microchip implants and their infrastructure could eliminate the need for e-passports, e-tags, and secure ID cards. “Microchipping I think will eventually become compulsory in the context of identification within the frame of national security,” he said. Although uberveillance was only in its early phases, Dr Michael’s wife, Katina Michael – a senior lecturer from UOW’s School of Information Systems and Technology – said the ability to track and identify any individual was already possible. “Anyone with a mobile phone can be tracked to 15m now,” she said, pointing out that most mobile phone handsets now contained GPS receivers and radio frequency identification (RFID) readers. “The worst scenario is the absolute loss of human rights,” she said. Wisconsin, North Dakota and four other states in the US have already outlawed the use of enforced microchipping. “Australia hasn’t got specific regulations addressing these applications,” she said. “We need to address the potential for misuse by amending privacy laws to ensure personal data protection.”

Resource: ninemsn:

Panopticon blueprint by Jeremy Bentham, 1791

Panopticon blueprint by Jeremy Bentham, 1791

Utah senator wants scanners & database in restaurants

A proposal to scan the driver licenses of bar patrons and keep it on file in a state law enforcement database is a good start, says Senate President Michael Waddoups, but he wants to see the program go further. Waddoups, R-Taylorsville, says he wants to see the database idea start with private clubs, but extend to restaurants that serve diners beer and liquor. That would greatly expand the scope of the data collection and create a new requirement for restaurants, which are not required to have people sign up as members in order to serve beer and liquor. There are fewer than 400 clubs and taverns and nearly 1,100 restaurants licensed to serve alcohol.

Resourse: from salt lake tribune

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For Researcc on Uberveilliance see:

A Research Note on Ethics in the Emerging Age of Überveillance, M.G. Michael, Sarah Jean Fusco, Katina Michael

About Privacy
“The catalogue” van Chris Oakley

Zoekmachines en uw privacy

Google Big Brother? Eyetracking en Latitude

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