2007 Forecast on the Future of Surveillance Technologies


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Back in 2007, my company's STEEP Report series covered the implications of all the surveillance technologies coming on line.

Back then we were alarmed at what we saw and thought people should consider this development well in advance.

We were right then; we are right now.

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2007 Forecast on the Future of Surveillance Technologies

  2. 2. THIS MONTH’S ISSUEWhy we chose…Big Brother TechnologiesWe chose to examine forecasts for surveillance technologiesfor this month’s STEEP Report because the technologies arewithout precedent and the social implications could changethe future of our entire civilization.Dramatic? Yes. Hysterical and paranoid?We wish.There is surprisingly little discussion in the media about therapid development of information technologies that will beused to track individuals anywhere on the globe in real time.These technologies will not be implemented as part of somegovernment scheme to control citizens, but all for usefulcommercial and government applications – marketing,logistics, health policy, human resources, and security.This doesn’t change the gravity of the ethical (and business!)implications of what’s next for surveillance technologies.
  3. 3. A portfolio of surveillance technologies will soon be able totrack most of the world’s population in real time.Do not underestimate the consequences or possibilitiesfrom this development.Through technologies such as GPS, RFID, IPv6, and facial recognition,we are rapidly developing the capacity to track billions of people inreal time.The power of ubiquitous computing and sensing will give yourcompany dramatic new powers and significant liabilities.Our societies may never be the same.Talk to your employees, your lawyers, and your elected officials
  4. 4. The world is investing in cameras, RFID, GPS, remote sensing and powerful internetarchitectures to measure, store, and correlate trillions of points of data around the worldBig Brother Tech: The Global ViewHOLLYWOOD:Movie postersscan facialfeatures toexamine whichimages evoke themost responseWASHINGTON:Global climatechangemonitoring tracksindividualfactoriesCHINA: Onebillion Chinesecitizens issuedradio-frequencyidentificationcards thatbroadcast familyhistory, maritalstatus, prisonrecordsLONDON:Advertisementscoordinated with GPSpositioning in cellphones to showbusinesses withinwalking distanceAFRICA: Refugeemovements trackedby satellite tocoordinatehumanitarian efforts
  5. 5. The Trends
  6. 6. Radio FrequencyIdentification Tags(RFID)Global PositioningSystems (GPS)IPv6 InternetnetworkingFacial recognitionsoftwareA portfolio of information technologies is converging in the near future (2010+)with dramatic social consequences, and plenty of business opportunities, too:We are entering, willingly or not, into the era of Big Brother Technologies.Iris scanningBiometricsUbiquitous videosurveillance
  7. 7. RFID Tags – unlimited applications for “talking barcodes”In usage since 1955, radio-frequency identification chips are essentially barcodes thattalk. With a tiny chip and an antenna to broadcast its unique code, short-range radiosignals broadcast a limited amount of information to any device capable of listening.The technology is maturing, having dropped in price over the last eight years to begin tofind applications in the logistics industry.
  8. 8. The RFID market is set to explode: US $1 trillion by 2017?• From 1955 to 2005, total sales of RFID tagswere $2.4 billion.• Last year alone, 2.24 billion tags were soldworldwide. and analysts project that by 2017the annual sales could reach $25 billion.With a variety of maturing applications, fromimproving global logistics to preventingpharmaceutical counterfeiting, the market forRFID tags will explode in the next ten years.(“Microchips Everywhere: A Future Vision.” Todd Lewan. Seattle Times.January 29, 2008. )
  9. 9. RFID tags: headed to the item levelUntil recently, the high price of RFID haskept it on pallets, monitoring of batchesof products in transit. It has been tooexpensive to have one on each unit.In the coming decades , as theprice continues to fall, RFID tagswill finally be incorporated onindividual items“[RFID] is like having an expert with a clipboard sitting next to every of your trucks, manufacturinglines, pallets with goods, and they can tell you at any time what is happening, where,”- Ken Douglas, global director of technology at BP.
  10. 10. Tracking shampoo bottles is great, but applications for the future surely won’t stop there.Now companies are selling RFID tags to help identify and track pets, children and the elderly.RFID tags: headed to the individual citizenlevelRFID chipPlus, save time andmoney if you haveemployees in sensitiveareas – many companiesare choosing to implantRFID chips, increasingsecurity and dispensingwith messy ID cards.
  11. 11. In the future, anything with these tags could be scanned at increasing distances without aperson’s knowledge.Market researchers could scan items in your car from five feet away or a police officercould scan your ID as you pass on the street.  RFID tags: mass data collection at a distanceNOTE: The Chinese government just ordered one billion RFID-loaded chips to identify itscitizens.
  12. 12. GPS chips: Surveillance at a serious distanceGPS chips, computer chips that record and broadcast their location via satellite, are nowcommonly used in navigation, telecommunications, tracking almost anything in real time.The market for these devices is poised for exponential growth.
  13. 13. GPS sales predicted to hit one billion units per year by 2012Between real-time navigation, geo-tagging of images in digital cameras, emergency rescue, andmore, there are seemingly limitless applications for GPS.If market forecasts are correct, then billions of digital devices will begin streaming out digitalinformation about their position. The era of losing track of things may be over…
  14. 14. GPS will lead to the advertising of the future:100 million Europeans will subscribe to “location-based services”As all advertisers know, we are in an arms-race when it comes to capturing theattention Businesses are using GPS for new and creative ways to advertise:Pictured at left Yell.com hasinstalled digital billboards fittedwith GPS technology on the sides ofLondon buses to create location-specific advertisements.
  15. 15. Facial recognition software: the end of anonymity?1. A tiny camera projects an invisible light pattern onto thesubject’s face, revealing the faces surface geometry, which iscaptured on streaming video at 30 frames per second.2. This 3-D measurement allows point-to-point measurement, suchas forehead to cheekbone.3. The face pattern is plugged into an algorithm to generate a 3-D"mesh" created from measurements smaller than a millimeter.4. A biometric template -- based on bone structures that dontchange over time -- is created from the image and is stored inthe database.5. The database stores the images, comparing them to locatematches.Combining software analysis, cameras, anddatabases facial recognition software could bethe nosy neighbor of the future. This cutting-edge software can quickly scan faces at adistance and compare results to any database –domestic or international
  16. 16. Facial recognition:The billboard of tomorrow will watch YOUWorried about your latest ad campaign? With facial recognition software, billboards like this oneanalyze who looks at the advertisement, where they focus, and for how long. Unlike biometrics, itrequires ZERO consent from those observed.Advertisers measuring:• Age• Gender• RaceLocated in:• McDonald’s(Singapore)• Ikea (Europe)• A&E (New York)• 30 more locations inUS
  17. 17. Biometrics: check on employee productivitywithout the need for managerial skill• Monitor employee activity through PC andlaptop computers, mobile phones, andblackberries• Monitor employees’ heart rate, breathing, bodytemperature, facial expressions and bloodpressure• Record and analyze words and numbers usedand websites visited• Measure workload and test for honestyMicrosoft recently filed a patent application for “Monitoring System 500” a “virtualmiddle manager” that uses to:
  18. 18. Biometrics to meet the talent crunchThe “Monitoring System 500” is designed to replace middle managers by:• Measuring speed of task completion• Identifying areas of assistance• Offering assistance (prompts) when employees need itAND…• Nothing like invasive surveillance to motivate productivity!• Eliminating human interaction!
  19. 19. Video surveillance: an old technology expands asgovernments become more interested in securityWhere there is little data correlating surveillance and public safety, governments on bothsides of Atlantic are increasing their investments in Big Brother Technologies.The United States has approximately 30 million surveillance cameras in operation, mostlyin cities – roughly one for every 10 people.Nearly every block of Manhattan under camera surveillanceLondon monitors every neighborhood. “Every Briton can expect to be caught on camera onaverage some 300 times a day.”“Learning to live with Big Brother.” TheEconomist. Sept 27, 2007.
  20. 20. IPv6 Internet networking: faster and more secureInternet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) is an Internet Layer protocolfor packet-switched internetworks. It is designated as thesuccessor of IPv4, the first and still dominant version of theInternet Protocol, for general use on the Internet.IPv6 has a much larger address space, which allows flexibilityin allocating addresses and routing traffic. The extendedaddress length eliminates the need to use network addresstranslation to avoid address exhaustion, and also simplifiesaspects of address assignment and renumbering whenchanging Internet connectivity providers.The IPv6 address space is extremely large: IPv6 supports 2128(about 3.4×1038) addresses, or approximately 5×1028(roughly 295) addresses for each of the roughly 6.5 billion(6.5×109) people alive today.[1] In a different perspective, thisis 252 addresses for every observable star in the knownuniverse[2] – more than ten billion billion billion times as manyaddresses as IPv4 supported.IPv6 is an updated internet system, greatly expanding thenumber of potential IP addresses, therefore the number ofpossible internet users.Under the current system, IPv4, the overall pool of IPaddresses is expected to be depleted by 2012, leading to thenecessity for IPv6.
  21. 21. IPv6 InternetIPv6 uses a 128-bit address size compared with the 32-bit systemused in the IPv4, allowing for as many as 3.4x1038 possibleaddresses, enough to cover every person on the planet several timesover.The 128-bit system also provides for multiple levels of hierarchyand flexibility in hierarchical addressing and routing, animprovement over the IPv4-based Internet.
  22. 22. The Whole is Greater…The combination of surveillance techniques andadvanced technology is greater than the sum of itsparts.
  23. 23. Combining all of the parts: China’s Golden ShieldGolden Shield – a nationwide digital surveillance network, linking national,regional, and local security agencies through a web of surveillance technologies,featuring:• Speech recognition• Facial recognition• Closed circuit TV• National ID cards• Credit records• Internet surveillance
  24. 24. Building China’s surveillance societyThe police will be able to coordinate vast amounts ofdataRFID-implantednational ID cards –scanned withoutowner’s knowledgeClosed-circuit TV:monitoring publicspacesDatabase - instantlycomparingfingerprintsNationwide database:trackingcitizens since birthSpeech recognition:monitoring telephoneconversationsFacial recognition –capturing andmatching facialimages in a crowd
  25. 25. How the technology works in Shenzhen• This web of cameras will belinked to the country’s national IDsystem, tracking citizens by RFIDtags.• Anyone who does not get the IDcard cannot live in Shenzhen andcannot get government benefits.• It allows the government tocontrol the movement of politicaland religious dissidents andcontrol the population of thefuture.In the rapidly-growing city of Shenzhen, police are installing over 20,000surveillance cameras in the streets, guided by American-made facial recognitionsoftware.
  26. 26. Implications
  27. 27. RFID: Implications for the Future• ADVERTISING – to the individual level!!!!• Theft prevention• Pets, elderly, kids• Shipping industry• Sales – locate desired product in remote warehouse• Medical – speed lifesaving when seconds count, anti-counterfeiting• IDs – immigration (passports)• Political/population monitoring – eye on troublemakers• Market research!!!!!
  28. 28. Implications for the FutureBiometric applications combined to improve security for:• Travel speed/border security• Purchases by credit card• Secure access to buildings• Security for high-volume events•Computer passwords•National or state identification
  29. 29. QuestionsBroad issues:• Right to privacy•Does consent exist anymore? Limitations?•Who “owns” this info? What if the info “they” have is somehowwrong (like on credit reports)? How do you know, how do youcorrect it if it’s not public?•What does the credit report of tomorrow look like?•Is it inevitable that we are headed for a system like China where allinfo is tracked on each individual since birth?•Can a person ever make a mistake?• Will there eventually be some sort of international data standard?Shared data? Will the Chinese call the shots?
  30. 30. QuestionsBroad issues (cont):•Is there a way for laws to guide the development of thesetechnologies? Can we overturn the PATRIOT Act, ect…• If all of this information is available on everyone, what is thefuture of hackers?• How to balance enormous benefits and positive uses of thistechnology with its far-reaching, scarring impacts?
  31. 31. What To Do Today
  32. 32. Addendum: Big Brother Tech - By the NumbersFigure SourceThere are approximately 30 million surveillance cameras in theU.S. – roughly one for every ten people.“Learning to live with Big Brother.” The Economist. Sept 27,2007.Analysts project that by 2017 cumulative sales of RFID tags willtop $1 trillion - generating more than $25 billion in annualrevenues for the industry.“Microchips Everywhere: A Future Vision.” Todd Lewan.Seattle Times. January 29, 2008.GPS sales are expected to hit $1 billion by 2012. "GPS chipset sales to approach one billion by 2012 accordingto market research firm," Digitimes, April 19th, 2008.100 million Europeans will subscribe to location-basedservices."Euro LBS users to top 100 million by 2012." GPS World. April9, 2008.Facial recognition software used behind the billboards. Ads forMcDonalds in Singapore, Ikea in Europe, A&E in New York, and30 different locations in malls across the U.S.“Billboards with facial recognition software trickling out.” NilayPatel. June 4, 2008. http://www.engadget.com/2008/06/04/billboards-with-facial-recognition-software-trickling-out/“Every aspect of computer users’ lives — from their heartbeatto a guilty smile — could be monitored and immediatelyanalysed under the futuristic system detailed in Microsoft’spatent application.”“How computer spy in the office will monitor everything youdo.” David Brown and Elizabeth Judge. London Times. January16, 2008.In the rapidly-growing city of Shenzhen, police are installingover 20,000 surveillance cameras in the streets, guided byAmerican-made facial recognition software.
  33. 33. Find out more: Books1984. By George Orwell.(Why not have another look? The technology is there.)The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose BetweenPrivacy and Freedom? By David Brin.RFID Applied. By Jerry Banks.
  34. 34. Find out more: BooksLoving Big Brother: Performance, Privacy and Surveillance Space.By John McGrath.No Place to Hide: Behind the Scenes of Our Emerging Surveillance Society.By Robert O’Harrow.Handbook of Biometrics. By Anil K. Jain, Patrick Flynn andArun A. Ross.
  35. 35. Find out more: Articles“Big Brother gets bigger, says global privacy study.” Elinor Mills. CNET News. January 2, 2008.http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9838743-7.html“Big Brother in China – via U.S. technology.” Warren Mass. The John Birch Society. August 16, 2007.http://www.jbs.org/node/5153“Bigger Monster, Weaker Chains: The Growth of an American Surveillance Society.” Jay Stanley and Barry Steinhardt.ACLU. January 2003. http://www.aclu.org/FilesPDFs/aclu_report_bigger_monster_weaker_chains.pdf“Biometrics – the future for flying bliss?” Nick Heath. February 21, 2008.http://www.silicon.com/retailandleisure/0,3800011842,39170130,00.htm“Do Americans Care About Big Brother?” Massimo Calabresi. Time. February 14, 2008.http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1722537,00.html?xid=feed-cnn-topics"Euro LBS users to top 100 million by 2012." GPS World. April 9, 2008. http://lbs.gpsworld.com/gpslbs/LBS+News/Euro-LBS-Users-to-Top-100M-by-2012/ArticleStandard/Article/detail/509169"GPS chipset sales to approach one billion by 2012 according to market research firm," Digitimes.April 19th, 2008.http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20080419PR200.html
  36. 36. Find out more: Articles“How computer spy in the office will monitor everything you do.” David Brown and Elizabeth Judge. London Times.January 16, 2008.http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article3193223.ece“Japan’s teenage smokers face wrinkle test.” Justin McCurry. The Guardian. May 13, 2008.http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/may/13/japan.health“Learning to live with Big Brother.” The Economist. Sept 27, 2007.http://www.economist.com/world/international/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9867324“Microchips Everywhere: A Future Vision.” Todd Lewan. Seattle Times. January 29, 2008.http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2004151388_apchippingamericaiii29.html?syndication=rss“New security camera can ‘see’ through clothes.” CNN. April 16, 2008.http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/04/16/camera.england/index.html“RFID Tags: Big Brother in Small Packages.” Declan McCullagh. CNET News.http://news.cnet.com/2010-1069-980325.html