Feeds

Web stalkers to get face search plug-in

Polar Rose dodges thorny issues

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

As the old adage about scientific knowledge goes, once the box is open, there's no way to get the jack back in it. As technology increasingly takes a more personal role in everybody's lives, and becomes yet more widespread and conjoined, another adage is catching on, which is that you're going to lose your privacy anyway, so you might as well roll with it.

It is an idea immortalised in David Brin's 1998 book, the Transparent Society, which appears to have been adopted as something of a book of Revelations for 21st century for webheads like Nyholm, or at least as a justification for a web tool that could turn the web into the means for the people to snoop effectively on the people.

The idea is that as the state will have unprecedented means to snoop on the people, citizens should be given access to those same means in order to redress the imbalance of power.

“Can we stand living exposed to scrutiny, our secrets laid open, if in return we get flashlights of our own that we can shine on anyone who might do us harm—even the arrogant and strong?" says Brin on his website.

"Or is an illusion of privacy worth any price, even the cost of surrendering our own right to pierce the schemes of the powerful?” he asks.

Only the security services have had access to this sort of facial recognition data until now, said Brin: "If you don't democratise the technology then it will be misused."

It's a nice idea, but perhaps idealistic. It assumes that the masses can be trusted not to use surveillance powers to hunt for witches.

Polar's contribution to the debate, said Nyholm, would be telling people about the reality, which is that something of this all-seeing future is inevitable.

"We will be educating people that public information is public. If its out there its very difficult not to make it searchable," he said. Your photo, name, address, telephone number, criminal record, are all publically available, he noted.

The only thing that is inevitable, if the future does play out as Nyholm sees it, is that he'll be so rich he won't have to care.®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
Was ist das? Eine neue Suse Linux Enterprise? Ausgezeichnet!
Version 12 first major-number Suse release since 2009
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.