Elaine McArdle’s “The New Age of Surveillance” describes how the Internet of Things (IoT) has created a hot legal debate over privacy versus security, highlighting the Berkman Center for Internet & Society’s expert report and superb teamwork on this important issue.
But the silence is deafening with no mention of the human impact to be expected from this “tectonic shift” in technology—when sensors everywhere and data about our every movement/preference/habit (all cloud-connected) mean less face-to-face interaction and much-altered cultural norms about human interpersonal relations. The younger generation’s relaxed assumptions around texting private information (versus how my generation views such texts) is a case in point.
In anticipating how we’ll feel about privacy-vs.-security in this new age, we must begin by anticipating how we’ll feel—about ourselves and those around us. The legal debate is much less meaningful if it ignores the evolving human values being debated. The tectonic shift in technology both drives and is altered by the tectonic shift in our emotions and expectations.