As much as I am very concerned about the invasion of privacy that comes along with ever-present government and commercial surveillance, the even bigger concern might just be what an inviting target all of that data will be.
As governments and companies continue to collect large amounts of data – and facial recognition trials are happening on the streets and at concerts – users need to be wary. But it’s really down to those implementing facial recognition programmes, for whatever reason, to ensure the company processing that data is secure. If not, the consequences will be far-reaching and potentially devastating.
This story serves as a reminder that with that much data sitting out there from all of this surveillance, having it fall into the wrong hands, or even being misused by the people collecting it in the first place, grants them far, far too much power over people’s lives. Imagine being able to piece together the browsing history, cell phone logs, facial recognition of everyone you spent time with, etc., and also be able to insert false information into that database. How much damage could be done?
We should be questioning whether creating that kind of system, and introducing that kind of risk is even worth doing at all, but I’m afraid that discussion has been completely derailed by political and security concerns.
No one wants to be the person against fighting terrorism, or crime.
But we might be destroying lots of innocent lives as a consequence. There won’t be any recovering from that.