Tuesday, August 24, 2010

You have the right to the illusion of privacy

Of course, any thoughts about complaining about the right to privacy, and we'll arrest you before the crime is committed.

Where to start. First, those invasive body scans that are keeping us from going to the airport? Well those scanners are now all over the roads, scanning other vehicles. Seriously.

Now, if that wasn't something that made you feel sorrow for your lost rights. Let's take a look at the decision to deploy new computers that predict when crimes will be committed. Of course, the obvious comparisons to the movie Minority Report are going on.

The computer doesn't say a burglary will happen, it says that this individual is probably a criminal, and gives a percentage calculated to determine how likely the person is to commit another crime. This information can then be used to determine parole, probation, and bond issues. It can help parole officers give additional attention to people who the computer consider to be high risk.

Here's a hint. If you spend all day following a guy around, eventually he's going to get annoyed, and deck you. Then he's committed a crime of assaulting a police officer, and the computer is proven right. The term self fulfilling prophecy comes to mind. Between the two of these stories, one has to wonder if we have any privacy left in this world. Apparently, the only things the Government didn't know, was the thoughts in your own head, and now they have a computer program that attempts to predict that information.

What a world. What a depressing world.

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