Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Beware of Big Brother - at work and at home!

This should make everyone who uses a computer, a cellphone or a similar personal device really, really angry.

Microsoft has applied for a patent that will 'allow managers to monitor employees’ performance by measuring their heart rate, body temperature, movement, facial expression and blood pressure'.

Basically this technology will turn your device into a permanently-alert spy on anything and everything you do. It's clear that it can be applied to every moment of your life. A second, more detailed report states, 'The systems work not only through desktop or laptop computers but even through mobile phones or handheld PCs, meaning that even out of the office the employee can still be monitored. In its most advanced format, the system will monitor users’ private interests.' (Bold print my emphasis.)

I don't know about you, but I'm more than fed up with the 'surveillance society' already confronting us. Cameras on the street, red-light cameras that are allegedly installed for reasons of traffic safety but are clearly no more than a revenue-generating device, airport security that isn't secure and doesn't work, the expressed desire of US government officials to monitor every item of data moving across the Internet, similar moves in the European Union . . . and now this.

Folks, if we don't take a stand, this is going to happen. We've sunk as far as we have precisely because far too many people simply let their privacy go by default. It may already be too late to stop a great deal of the damage . . . but if we sit back and accept it, we deserve no better.

It's time to let our elected representatives know that we won't stand for this.


1 comment:

Justin Buist said...

Easy now. It's just a patent application. Companies that work in IT file them any time they get an idea that might possibly ever exploited by somebody else in the industry, and they file them as broadly as possible.

I'm plenty fed up with the surveillance society too, but this isn't much of an indicator of it getting worse in my opinion.

Still, you're 100% correct in saying that "if we don't take a stand, this is going to happen."

Best way to head that off, IMHO, is to make the youth aware of it, and get them objecting to it. Not sure how to reach them though.