Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The good side of massive surveillance and profiling?

Layman Pascal has an interesting comment about what he calls massive internal profiling civilization (MIP-civ). It arose in a discussion of a pre-crime unit using precognition to predict crimes before they happened, like in the movie Minority Report. LP said: "We absolutely need to manage an intelligent transition into detailed typological profiling and flexible probability assessment." He elaborates with cautions.

I'm reminded of a tv series that grabbed me from the start, Person of Interest.
It's about a guy who creates a smart machine that uses all of NSA's surveillance apparatus to predict likely crimes and criminals before it happens. The machine feeds these leads to the creator, who enlists former mercenaries who now want to do right. It's the other side of the usual negative press we get about massive surveillance. And similar to the movement against having smart meters in one's home, the fear of personal energy use being manipulated by the wrong hands. And yet, it's required for the new IoT to function properly, so it's a matter of who is using the data and for what. The show, like LP's comments, plays on this tension with characters who want to control the machine for their selfish reasons and those that use it to prevent crime. And as always, how there is usually a gray mix of both sides in various degrees.

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