Monday, May 20, 2013

The disadvantages of an increasingly transparent world outweigh the advantages - moderator's introduction

The world is changing. The lifestyle our parents had is different from the one we have today. We think we have seen it all, yet it seems that ingenious masterpieces of modern technology still have much to offer. (Continues below the fold...)

by FG

Just a few months ago, Google announced the release of its brand new product, the Google Glass. It's a cross between a mobile computer and eyeglasses that can both record video and surf the Internet. It's a tiny electronic screen mounted on the left side of a pair of eyeglass frames, which can even provide turn-by-turn driving directions and retrieve info from the Web by connecting wirelessly to one's cell phone.

This technology has raised a lot of concerns and issues, ranging from personal privacy violations to matters of home land security. Lawyers have pointed out a huge potential for misuse because Glass can record video far less conspicuously than a handheld device, as with traditional video cameras, a tiny light blinks on to let people know when it is recording.

As a reply to these reproaches, developers said that the devices will just have to be whipped off in inappropriate situations, such as in gym locker rooms or work meetings.

"Criticisms are inevitable from people who are afraid of change or who have not figured out that there will be an adaptation of society to it," said one of them.

Google has acknowledged that there are certain situations where the use of the new technology will not be appropriate, but they are convinced that everybody will get comfortable with it over time. As a matter of fact, previous technology innovations such as personal computers and smart phones that initially raised concerns are now subject to unspoken social rules, such as not talking loudly in social gatherings or turning the mobile off in a meeting.

But still, all these arguments don't seem to . Like the operator of the Caesar’s Entertainment casino, who recently announced that Glass will not be permitted while gambling. Seattle's Five Point Cafe is expected to ban Glass as a preventive counter measure. "Respect our customers privacy as we'd expect them to respect yours", as their motto goes.

It's a complicate world where interests don't always meet. You can't satisfy everyone, yet there are certain rules to be respected and boundaries we can't afford to cross. The question is who draws these boundaries? Or should we accept that idea that we are living in a transparent world where privacy is nothing more than a word? Do the advantages of technology really outweigh its drawbacks, when it comes to the personal information rights, even if it means living in a Big Brother society?


1 comment:

  1. I really appreciate the sentence: "Criticisms are inevitable from people who are afraid of change or who have not figured out that there will be an adaptation of society to it."We have to take caution to new technology but the NO-NO-NO altitude is not adapted to our highly-advancing society.