Continued from Flux Trends’ 6 Trends for 2019…
Do you always feel like somebody’s watching you? That uneasy feeling is now a reality. While we’ve realised that we’ve become “the product” in data exchange with tech companies, governments are now jumping on the personal data bandwagon – and the trajectory is dystopian and terrifying.
China leads the way, aiming to document each of its citizens via facial recognition by 2023. Zimbabwe also plans to use facial recognition at its border posts.
If you’re entering New Zealand, be prepared for a “digital strip search”. Their new customs law requires travellers to not only hand over their devices if asked for, but also to grant access to them. Refusal comes with a $5,000 fine.
Interpol has started amassing an international voice biometrics database that will be shared among global police agencies.
There is however, growing resistance to these developments. Various organisations are calling for the regulation of facial recognition as well as for people to retain ownership of their data. Microsoft has called for the US government to start implementing laws on the use of facial recognition, while there’s been a backlash against Amazon for selling its facial recognition program, Rekognition, to the US government.
The digital privacy and data ownership uprising has begun.
Above: A glimpse at China’s sophisticated surveillance network.
By: Dion Chang and Khumo Theko
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Image credit: Leap Rate
Video credit: The Economist