Information Privacy

The first and most important factor is that cybernetic devices inherently produce data. Human activity does not leave any traces except for DNA — we can think and speak without any recordings and move without any footprints. Digital activity, on the other hand, leaves transnational records. This makes the future prostheses subject to surveillance, privacy and security issues by default. In United States v. Miller the Supreme Court ruled that “the Fourth Amendment does not prohibit the obtaining of information revealed to a third party and conveyed by [the third party] to Government authorities, even if the information is revealed on the assumption that it will be used only for a limited purpose and the confidence placed in the third party will not be betrayed.”

The third-party doctrine says that companies creating cybernetic devices also own the data these devices produce. If you have a prosthetic arm for example, the company might analyze your most frequent moves and advertise new products based on your habits — super powerful arm if you are in the agriculture sector, built-in mirror accessory if you are a hairdresser or even up-sell other cybernetic gadgets that you might like. Not only that but your daily activities log might be sold to insurance companies.

Resources:

  • House A., The Real Cyborgs, http://s.telegraph.co.uk/graphics/projects/the-future-is-android/ visited on 04/25
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