June 11, 2003
Lifelog and Privacy

Ed Felten had a great post the other day on Safire's column on Lifelog (htm) (brought to you by DARPA), and the Memex (bIPlog previously talked about the Memex), privacy and context, as well as potential conflicts of interest for bloggers and expectations for private conversations.

The DARPA LifeLog program is trying to build a smart Memex. LifeLog is supposed to be smart, so that it can figure out the context of actions, so as to help you recall more accurately and naturally....

Also, Joi Ito has a comprehensive report on International Research on Privacy for Electronic Government (cover sht; all the report is in pdf) on Privacy Enhancing Technologies in Japan, the US, Canada and Europe. From the US section:

Privacy Risks in Entertainment Technologies
A little noticed but potentially quite significant area of privacy concerns relates to the rapid deployment of technologically sophisticated entertainment systems, especially related to television broadcasting.

Most consumers are unaware of the degree to which their personal viewing activities may be subject to recording, tracking, analysis, and even commercial distribution use by broadcasters and related firms. The opportunities for this sort of data collection are in a number of areas.

With both types of TiVo units, the amount of data that the units are capable of collecting regarding users' interactions is extremely comprehensive. In fact the unit can literally record and log every action that a user makes including every press on the remote control, every program watched, how long programs are maintained and how often they are viewed, and virtually every other aspect of users' viewing and operational habits. Since the system also includes the capability of automatically watching for particular programs based on titles, actors, keywords, and other parameters, it can collect a great deal of data regarding the interests of viewers.

This section of the report includes ReplayTV and DishPlayer too. And it goes on to survey how DRM systems, which are intended to restrict copying and theft of copyright protected materials are increasingly being used to collect very detailed personal usage data, not just in the present or for the long-term, but also retrospectively.

Wired has this: DOJ Net Surveillance Under Fire about the Patriot Act, your web activities and your email.

Posted by Mary Hodder at June 11, 2003 09:00 AM | TrackBack
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