The ethics of lifelogging

Black Mirror - The History of You

Head over to the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy to check out my new article on the ethics of “lifelogging,” the technology you voluntarily choose to record and archive everything you do.

Some people have the blessing of a photographic memory, and lifelogging technologies have the potential to bring average people up to at least that level. But when the process of remembering is mediated, along with the memories themselves, whose memories are we actually collecting and accessing? What about when these memories can be hacked, altered or simply deleted? These questions are central to lifelogging technology. And as this technology eventually reaches a Malcolm Gladwell-style tipping point: If you can envision intellectual property lawyers and philosophers answering the same questions, you know you’re running into unexplored ethical territory.

Read the rest here.

New piece for the Center for Digital Ethics & Policy

I have a new article up at Loyola University’s Center for Digital Ethics & Policy exploring the ethics of big data and pre-crime monitoring. Think Minority Report, but without Tom Cruise.

Minority Report’s claims about free will could keep a philosophy class going for hours, but the real relevance of the film, as with any serious science fiction, is in its prophetic power. No, we don’t have superhuman psychic mutants, but we do have big data, and as early as 2005, some U.S. police departments were using predictive tech to effectively identify negative trends and reduce crime in certain cities, like Memphis and Minneapolis. But that was more than a decade ago. A lot has changed since then, and the evolutionary rate shows no sign of cessation. We’re more connected now, and more and more of our lives are being sent to the cloud. As a result, we’ve laid a strong groundwork for a total surveillance society.

Read the rest here.