Technology users are failing to take adequate steps to protect their privacy in digital society. New research urges for positive guidelines for technology designers through ‘face-keeping.’
In the face of technology that will soon be able not only to track an individual’s movements but predict them too, people are far too relaxed about protecting their privacy, according to social psychologist Saadi Lahlou, writing in a special issue of Social Science Information on cognitive technologies, September 4, 2008.
According to Lahlou, and other authors in the special issue describing recent experiments, the combination of information and communication technologies and pervasive computing will soon enable continuous monitoring of individual activity, beyond what was imagined by 1984 author George Orwell.
What Lahlou terms “the system” – referring to the mass of interconnected data-collection devices from mobile phones, to internet sites, to surveillance cameras – can search, compare, analyze, identify, reason and predict the movements, motives and actions of individuals, he warns. Even such a transient event as gaze is now traceable by automatic devices.