Lately there have been complaints about iPhone apps obtaining personal information from users without their consent. If you think that is intrusive, take a second to read about the new secret government scanners that will be operating in the near future.
While the stated goal of this system is to allow officials to identify weapons, explosives, and harmful chemicals in a faster and more efficient manner, it pushes privacy concerns to a whole new level.
First, these machines do much more than what is needed for the goal stated above. There will be obvious concerns regarding the machine’s ability to penetrate clothing, and I would imagine most people feeling a bit uneasy knowing that police can track their hormone levels at any given, unwarranted moment.
It is also extremely uncanny to think that these machines are portable enough to become a mundane feature of society outside the airports, monitoring our every move, everywhere we go. And even if they do limit their existence to inside airports, it is still unsettling. When you walk through the scanning booth or hand over your water bottle during the current security process, you at least know you’re being monitored. With this technology, data is instantly being processed about you even as you stroll in the airport from the bathroom to the bookstore. What exactly are they scanning for? And why? If the lasers report that I have souring levels of adrenaline, will that be reason enough to forbid me from flying because I may have a violent outburst mid-flight?
The thought evokes a vision of a modern day 1984, where we are constantly being watched and monitored by the government. George Orwell would be appalled at how easily we are letting them get away with this. Now you may feel a bit more comfortable downloading that app you’ve wanted that asks for your current location, because hey- soon somebody out there will probably have that (and much more) information on you anyway. Hello Big Brother!