With so many people eager to capture, record, and track so many different aspects of their lives, it’s bound to infringe on other people’s privacy at some point.  Several years ago I might not have been that concerned about it.  Recently AI (artificial intelligence) and facial recognition capabilities have been improving exponentially.  It’s likely possible for my generic-looking mug to be identified in somebody else’s pictures or videos.  Maybe I don’t want to end up documented in somebody’s lifelog “archive”, or be identified (i.e. tagged) in other people’s social media accounts.

What bothers me the most about this is I can’t control when, how, or why I’m going to be captured on somebody else’s device.  Once captured, I have no control over what happens with my image or my voice.  With so many wearable devices it can be difficult to discern when somebody with whom you’re interacting is recording that exchange.  It could be a video recording, an audio recording, or a picture.  There could even be other apps and services at work behind the scenes reporting on all kinds of information about me to the other person, e.g. where I work or social media profile details.  In the future, it may also be possible for the other person to collect biometric details about me.  After that I would have virtually no control over, or opinion about, what happens to that information about me.

I’ve already had several experiences where I discovered people taking pictures or making recordings of me surreptitiously.  It makes me self-conscious and suspicious.  I never know when I’m going to be recorded.  And if I am captured in some way, I have no idea how/when those images or recordings will be used in the future.  Other times I’ve discovered myself tagged in other people’s Facebook profiles and that’s only because I have an FB account.  I know I can untag myself, but the picture is still there to be discovered some other way, like through facial recognition software.

I find it hard to strike a balance.  Of course I want everybody to take pictures of what they like, but not when it infringes on my sense of privacy or it’s something that I can’t control in some way.  Not sure what the solution is, but I guess we’re all in it together as the ones doing the surveillance and the ones being surveilled.





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