Yes, It Looks Like People Will Actually Pay To Give Up Their Privacy

The right to privacy is one of the most fundamental of all human rights and is a cornerstone of what has made America a great nation. People have been allowed to think about what they want and do what they want (so long as it doesn’t hurt other people) without government being allowed to intervene. This is not a right that is even remotely protected in totalitarian countries.

Oddly, though, while people in the U.S. still want to maintain their privacy, at the same time, they seem perfectly happy to pay to give up that privacy to a faceless corporation. A prime example of this kind of corporation is Facebook, but Facebook has always been free for users. Google searches are another example.

But, now, users will have the option of paying to be spied on. Tim Collins writes,

Google¬†this week released a tiny $250 (¬£180) camera dubbed ‘Clips’ designed to automatically take candid shots.

Clips sits in the corner of the room and uses AI to identify familiar faces and determine the best time to capture a seven second video.

Google say it designed Clips to be an effortless way to capture intimate moments.

But some commentators have questioned the true price of this trade-off of convenience with our privacy.

Always-on cameras such as Clips can be used to ‘superpower surveillance’ in the future, according to experts. [hat tip to here for the lead]

Two things to be aware of with this type of camera:

  1. Use of this camera by Google isn’t a violation of your right to privacy. If you buy the camera and set it up for use, then you are giving them permission to spy on you for use however they want (and, remember, terms of service are periodically changed, so these pictures could, potentially, be used for all kinds of things).
  2. This type of camera will be abused and used for evil purposes.

If you are thinking that Google is full of good guys because their motto is “Don’t be evil,” then you may want to consider what Navneet Alang, a technology and culture writer, said:

Cameras powered by AI will inevitably be used to superpower surveillance.

In an age in which facial recognition technology is already being used to apprehend criminals, a smarter camera from one of the world’s largest companies is something impossible to see as merely fun.

One must be careful not to dismiss what can seem silly now as it may end up being significant in the future.

Indeed the world is overrun with new technologies carrying unintended negative effects.

And that is really the issue: whether a person or group creates something for a good purpose, if it can be used to invade our privacy, eventually, someone will use it for that purpose.

For this reason, we recommend staying away from this camera.