Goodbye privacy, hello future!

Some of you may have seen recent reports of google building augmented reality glasses. In case you haven’t been tracking where all this tech is heading, we should all be amazed or terrified by what this means for privacy in the very near future… We’re about a year away from the ability to easily walk around with vr glasses on and ID everyone around us and download all their data in realtime.

Actually, we’re there now but it takes a bit of hacking if you wanted it the info a pair of vr goggles (you can already get your phone to list personal data about any women nearby who happen to post their location intentionally or otherwise). You can buy video glasses for about $50 now on ebay. Lots of folks are in the process of building them with bluetooth so they can send video and receive data straight your smart device while you walk. Once the video is on your phone, it can be in the cloud internet and servers can be searching it for faces or anything else. Since there’s tagged photos of almost everyone online now its not to hard to connect the photo and location with the real person (note that not having a facebook account doesn’t necessarily help since FB sometimes gathers “shadow profiles” of people that don’t have accounts).

If you are in the NSA/FBI/CIA then your could easily be doing searches from the names/faces of people nearby on all the databases and credit card records they have for everyone. So you could pretty much walk around and see a live feed of all personal information of everyone you see on the street. This really isn’t scifi now. I’m not making this up, read these two articles…
The first details a new system for ID’ing people by searching 26 million images a second from databases of public photos, the second discusses the new NSA center being built in Utah to house all (yes ALL) phone email and other communications made by every US citizen. The government is now recording this 24/7 thanks to recent legislation that made this legal after the Bush administration did it illegally for a while. This really isn’t a paranoid AM radio rant, it is well documented by the media.

Oh and another thing, I was at a security trade show last week and they had a camera that can shoot 180 degree gigapixel images in near realtime. The demo they had was a live stream of a port in I think it was Virginia that happened to include the windows of a local university’s dorms. The camera can shoot 150, 15 megapixel images in a 180 degree panorama every 45 seconds, so the frame rate is about 1 image per minute. The demos had essentially an HD resolution live video of every window in the entire dorm and no they don’t have to get permission to do this (its for homeland security!). You can buy your own camera for only $120,000 or you could build one yourself for about $15K in hardware. (Seriously, we built about the same camera ourselves for the Gigavision Project in about 200 hours of work and I have no electrical engineering experience only a biology degree. Ours only could do an image every 5-10 minutes since we used cheaper hardware and off the shelf software)

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