Dust-sized wireless communications nodes, pinhead-size cameras, and other sensors; contact-lens video displays and wearable computers controlled by subvocal speech and other muscle movements; and the ability to google anything, anywhere--we will soon be able to know almost everything about everyone. Explosive advances in the technologies of sensing and data mining demand that we ask: is privacy a fundamental right or a passing phenomenon?
Privacy is mentioned in neither the U.S. Constitution nor John Stuart Mills seminal work, "On Liberty." Nor does it seem to have been a basic aspect of any civilization before the late Victorian era. Perhaps its nothing more than a single centurys luxury, supported by an odd combination of technologies: the urban apartment building and subways, the suburban home and private automobiles.
In a special four-part report in IEEE Spectrum, "Sensor Nation," we look at privacy under siege. Part one, "Sensors and Sensibility," reviews the latest developments in sensing and data mining, and at a rear-guard of technologists who are fighting back, developing technologies of privacy. A second article, "We Like to Watch," tackles head-on the difficult question of what a society without privacy would be like. Is there a healthy alternative, a so-called transparent society, in which the loss of privacy is symmetrical and universal, matched by a powerful new ability to watch the watchers?
Bursting the clouds for better communication
18.10.2018 | Université de Genève
Research on light-matter interaction could improve electronic and optoelectronic devices
11.10.2018 | Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz (Germany) together with scientists from Dresden, Leipzig, Sofia (Bulgaria) and Madrid (Spain) have now developed and characterized a novel, metal-organic material which displays electrical properties mimicking those of highly crystalline silicon. The material which can easily be fabricated at room temperature could serve as a replacement for expensive conventional inorganic materials used in optoelectronics.
Silicon, a so called semiconductor, is currently widely employed for the development of components such as solar cells, LEDs or computer chips. High purity...
Augsburg chemists present a new technology for compressing, storing and transporting highly volatile gases in porous frameworks/New prospects for gas-powered vehicles
Storage of highly volatile gases has always been a major technological challenge, not least for use in the automotive sector, for, for example, methane or...
When we put water in a freezer, water molecules crystallize and form ice. This change from one phase of matter to another is called a phase transition. While this transition, and countless others that occur in nature, typically takes place at the same fixed conditions, such as the freezing point, one can ask how it can be influenced in a controlled way.
We are all familiar with such control of the freezing transition, as it is an essential ingredient in the art of making a sorbet or a slushy. To make a cold...
Thin organic layers provide machines and equipment with new functions. They enable, for example, tiny energy recuperators. In future, these will be installed...
Das Zusammenspiel aus Struktur und Dynamik bestimmt die Funktion von Proteinen, den molekularen Werkzeugen der Zelle. Durch Fortschritte in der...
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19.10.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
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