Rob Spence claims to be educating us on how society is sleepwalking into a new era of invasive state and corporate surviellance.
By installing a prosthetic eye with a miniature camera into his unused eye socket (his eye was damaged in a shotgun accident as a kid) Spence will be able to record his life unbeknownst to those around him and broadcast it to the web. See: EYEBORG– The Two Week Trial.
But when Spence says he is trying to educate the public on the dangers of surveillance, he is leaving out the dangerous effects an invention like this can have on the very same public. He, and others attempting similar projects, are creating a new method to introduce invasive state and corporate surveillance into people’s public and private lives.
What happens when you marry Jon Zittrain’s nightmare of tethered appliances (see my previous post) with Spence’s new contraption and advanced software which can recognize faces and read the images in a person’s mind?
Nothing too horrible you say. But that’s here in the western world where we have constitutional rights (which can always be illegally broken through secret warrants – also addressed in my previous post).
What about in special states like North Korea, China, or Russia where trouncing citizens’ rights is a societal norm. An advanced and much scarier version of 1984 is the short answer.
Imagine a world where children are born genetically coded to be missing one eye. A bionic eye is installed and can be accessed by the corporate / state hegemony at anytime, and is always recording video. The implant can also scan the brain for recognizable thought patterns to foresee dissent before it takes root in the mind. Private space will collapse and our ability to defy public social norms will evaporate.
Of course the danger of these doom and gloom theories is always their overstatement. Spence’s prototype still isn’t functional yet and I’ve already predicted the downfall of free private thought. The technology is a ways off but it doesn’t mean its impossible.
All I’m saying is Spence should be more cognizant of the future he is altering and the potentially dangerous effects his invention will have for the freedom of private thought and life.
Rob Spence. Little Brother. http://www.eyeborgblog.com/.
Rob Spence. Documentaries. http://robspence.tv/main.html
Life Caster. http://www.justin.tv/justin
Bionic eye gives man sight. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7919645.stm