In today’s technology-driven, ever-connected world, privacy can be difficult to come by, and equally difficult to ensure. This is true not only in terms of what kind of information you should share, but also in terms of what kind of information you should collect. For small businesses, this task can be especially daunting because it is not always viable to have a specific team (or person) solely dedicated to determining what kind of information should be collected.
Are you passionate about privacy, security and technology? (Best guess is that you probably are, if you're reading this blog.) Do you drive your friends crazy with your insatiable interest in and ever-growing knowledge of locational technology, surveillance systems, gaming or nanotech? Do you want to work with other like-minded people?
One research area that the OPC tracks is biometrics – using physical features and behaviours to automatically identify people. Although biometric technologies can be very useful for establishing identities, they can also raise important privacy concerns. Biometric technology is constantly changing and the ability of systems to accurately recognize people is increasing. OPC staff recently attended the International Conference on Biometrics: Theory, Applications and Systems (BTAS) held in Washington D.C. where they heard about the latest research results.
Understanding how we construct and manage our online reputations is crucial in our understanding of how people determine what to make public and what to keep private in online environments. The interview below, with Firefox's Creative Director Aza Raskin, has some interesting observations on what the construction of identity and memories could look like in the future. Also, around 4:35, he talks about the work Mozilla has been doing to create a set of privacy icons in the style of Creative Commons licences to help people understand how their data is being collected and used.
The decision whether to undergo genetic testing is often highly personal and is usually prompted by a serious medical concern such as a family history of an inherited disease. Traditionally, such testing has been done in a medical setting by health care professionals, including genetic counsellors, who explain the science and ethics behind testing and help patients interpret the results.
Loyalty discounts, the power of recommendations, serendipitous encounters with friends and colleagues, recognition badges, and stalkers. I think that’s a fair summary of most commentary about the growth of location-enabled services and tools.