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Invasion of privacy?

Invasion of privacy?

We live in a time when people are up in hypothetical (and sometimes real) arms about protecting their privacy. The hot topic and nearly constant debate of facial recognition … the fact that almost everyone has a smartphone with video and camera at their fingertips … video cameras placed across our cities … and while I appreciate these technologies, there is something coming that I’m not too sure about: Project Aria.

Facebook recently unveiled this, labeling it a new “research project that will help us build the first generation of wearable augmented reality devices.” What Facebook Reality Labs are proposing is a pair of glasses (similar to the once popular Google Glass) that will add a 3D layer on top of the wearer’s physical world.

On the surface, this sounds pretty exciting, helpful even as wearers would be able to locate their misplaced keys, navigate a new city or capture an important moment, all the while looking up and around as opposed to down at their smartphones. Aria wearers would be able to call a friend and chat with their lifelike avatar and even have a digital assistant that could detect upcoming road hazards and assist with hearing in a noisy environment. The uses of this device could be endless.

But … there’s always a “but,” and here’s Project Aria’s: the deployment of about 100 testers in Seattle and the San Francisco Bay area this month decked out with a head-worn sensor array that scans the real world. So, if you just happen to be standing in the direction of one of these sensors, you will be “involved” in Facebook’s project without your knowledge, unless of course you spy on of their claimed clearly marked testers wearing lanyards who have supposedly been trained on where and when to use the device, and when and where not to.

Additionally, the device will capture video and audio from the wearers point of view; eye movement and location data but according to Facebook this encrypted data will be held on the device and not seen by researchers before scrubbing the data of faces and sensitive information, such as license plates. Facebook even claimed that this data will not be used to inform ads people see across the social media’s channel; however, they did admit that information could eventually be used to target ads.

And, that’s just the beginning … Project Aria may be headed to your area next!

Invasion of privacy? You decide.


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