No matter what your familial situation looks like, the NSA has made the executive decision that it was, and will continue to be, Big Brother. But are they the only ones peeking over the fence into our personal lives? Hardly. Even still a majority of Americans still approve of Dragnet. Snowden has found asylum for his efforts to expose the NSA, but the national conversation still rages. How far is too far? If technology is supposed to make our lives easier, than why does it keep creeping?
Check these three frightening ways technology is being used to get a little too close for comfort.
1. Your email is getting read, and not just by the recipient.
When you send an email, there is an expectation that it will get to the recipient without being opened, right? Not so. Google is currently battling a $5 million lawsuit over privacy infringement in consumer email messages. Their response in to this lapse of security was shockingly dismissive: "People who use web-based email today cannot be surprised if their communications are processed by the recipient's ECS [electronic communications service] provider in the course of delivery."
2. Security cameras can recognize your "suspicious" behavior
Security systems have relied on the human element to be viable. Those days however are numbered, dwindling budgets for government agencies, and the push for more innovation. The San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority planned to install these cameras last year, at each Muni station around the city. The cameras employ behavioral analytics, which can be described as having "the ability to apply multiple learned memories combined with environmental factors to accurately recognize the behavior of a person or object." This company video feels like a deleted scene from "Minority Report."
3. Stores are using facial recognition to track VIP customers
The technology is built off the exact same technology Google images uses. It maps the faces of both famous people and anyone who has the potential to qualify as a big spender. That's the type of service you might not want, especially if you only spent a lot of money one time. It also gets more frightening, as employees can be specifically notified immediately when you enter the store. Your face just became as important as your wallet.