The Situationist

The Future Situation of “Orwellian” Technology

Posted by The Situationist Staff on September 11, 2008

Liz Tay of Channel Business Leaders has an interesting piece on future technologies that may alter the situations in which we live.  We excerpt the piece below.

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[People who use on-line services] are not taking appropriate measures to protect themselves or their data, according to social psychologist Saadi Lahlou.

Describing a ‘privacy dilemma’ that is brought about by the fact that technology requires information to deliver better or customised service, Lahlou warns that such data may later be used in another context and against users’ interest.

Lahlou mentioned Gmail as an example of his personal experience with the privacy dilemma.

“I feel that it is actually not reasonable to leave all my mail in someone else’s hands; but I am, as most of us, taken in this privacy dilemma,” he told iTnews.

“It is such a good indexation service of my own mail and so easy to use that I prefer not to think about the possible consequences of misuse or accident.”

He referenced ‘the system’ of interconnected data-collection devices including mobile phones, Web sites and surveillance cameras that can search, analyse and predict the actions of individuals.

“We are creating a system that will be aware of all that we do … virtually from cradle to grave,” Lahlou wrote in the journal Social Science Information. “The system as a whole will know more about us than we know about ourselves.”

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To read the rest of the article, click here.  To read other Situationist posts on technology, click here.

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