After so many years in a very visible position in the business world, I love the anonymity I have in retirement. I live in a mountain setting, don’t watch TV, don’t have a cell phone with GPS that can track my every move and generally enjoy a very simple life.
I was reading about biometrics and the growing global market for this technology. My mind flashed to 1984, written by George Orwell in 1949. Maybe an overreaction? Maybe a sane reaction? In either event, it sounds like this particular train left the station, quietly, a long time ago.
Biometrics technology has been mostly utilized in the government sector. Now, demand is growing in the private sector – ATMs, retail points of sale and finance. Iris and face recognition algorithms have undergone substantial advancements and are gaining prominence, while fingerprint technologies remain the most popular. This sector earned revenues of $1.48 billion in 2012 and is estimated to reach $6.15 billion in 2019.
It seems the technology is improving rapidly and is highly reliable. It is also costly and may take awhile for governments and businesses to fully implement. Also, many people – I’m in this group – have a lot of resistance to the idea due to fear over loss of privacy, and uncertainty over the reliability and security of stored data.
Google knows what I’m searching on – makes suggestions – helpful – yes – irritating – yes! My bank gathers information on my spending habits. You get the picture. It seems everyone wants to profile me. Now, biometrics wants to identify me. All I want is to live simply and anonymously in the mountains. To me anonymity equals freedom. Oh well, seems it really doesn’t matter what I want.
I wonder if humanity is slowly becoming one big data base? And, I wonder why anyone thinks that’s a good idea?
When did we stop voting on issues like this one? This isn’t a political blog and I’m not attempting to make a political point. I’m wondering why, as a global community, we feel profiling and identifying warrants devoting resources to at all. I wonder how our world would change if governments and businesses became passionately focused on world peace? Many, maybe most, people don’t believe world peace is possible. How did we get here?
Remember The Matrix? We aren’t programs, or, I hope we aren’t – we are easily programmed – and, now we are becoming a data base. Can C-3PO be too far away?