Part 2: Seeing your thoughts.
Upon researching the previous privacy blog i stumbled upon some other stuff too.
For instance, have you at any point ever wondered why that police helicopter just kept going in circles above your neighborhood? Well, as it turns out they found out a rather clever trick to discover possible illegal marijuana plantations.
Using heat camera’s they scan entire neighborhoods for unusual heat signatures, weed plantations are easy to spot as they usually clearly stand out on the special footage.
Or as in the picture on the left, the plantation in this flat was just literally glowing with an absurd amount heat. (Corresponding article here.)
It’s another method to see whats going on inside people’s private property. But unlike the technology used in the first blog I personally don’t feel this one really invades privacy as it doesn’t pierce trough the surface of your home… What’s your opinion on this method?
On a way different level they are experimenting with stuff you can only dream of:
Looking into someone’s brain !
In the following Youtube clip researchers show video fragments to test subjects while extracting brain activity data using fMRI. Subsequently they use this data to re-create the original footage by matching the original data with a huge database of random video’s (youtube clips). Sort of like how you can now use Google images by uploading a picture yourself and getting the same or similar pictures as a search result.
The footage in the red square is the original, shown to the test subject.
The footage in the green squares is the reconstructed video (3 different iterations are shown), which is composed by averaging out the video’s from the blue squares, which are possible matches.
Obviously the resulting footage is currently relatively raw and inaccurate. The Youtube video above stems from 2011, but if you look at a video from only a year prior, you can see they have made huge advancements already.
If they ever get this right, they might be able to ‘fully’ visualize a persons thoughts and dreams.
So obviously this technology can go many ways. Both bad and good, obviously by the title of this blog i’m hinting towards possible privacy abuse when used against someones will. But it’s easy to see it has many possible positive applications too.
What do you see for the future of this technique? If it reaches it’s full potential, and provides a pretty clear image, will it mostly be used for evil or good?
Say now for instance, should the law be allowed to use this on key witnesses ?
Could it be used as a lie detector on inmates? What in the case of people who ended up in a coma or vegetative state.
Should the family be allowed to hook them up on such a machine, just to see what’s still going on in there?
I know it’s very hypothetical and personal, it also covers a fairly ‘general’ side of privacy, but I’d still like your opinion…
Read the abstract and full text of the related research paper here: