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Pro — Resolved: On balance, the benefits of the Internet of Things outweigh the harms of decreased personal privacy.

October 18, 2016
Published in Newsletter

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Intro Essay 

Con Essay 

Argument Map

Introduction

One enormous strategic advantage to being Pro that I haven’t yet figured out how to offset on the Con yet is that there are so many different benefits to the IoT that it will be difficult for the Con to prepare answers to all of them. The reasons that the IoT is beneficial will represent common arguments that the Con should strive to prepare answers to, but they should try.

A second strategic advantage the Pro will have is magnitude – The advantages to the IoT not only have the potential to affect a lot of people (scope) but they will also generate a lot of significant impacts (climate change, economic growth, etc). Pro teams should emphasize these impacts and argue they outweigh the Con impacts.

A third advantage the Pro will have is scope — almost everyone has at least one thing that will be connected to the IoT, which means many of the benefits of the IOT will impact everyone.

In the next section of the essay, I will discuss a number of specific benefits to the IoT, but before I do that I want to outline some suggestions for constructing a Pro case.

Pro Case Suggestions

Have a generalized advantage and a specific advantage.  A generalized advantage will stem from a gain intrinsic to any IOT advance — efficiency, productivity, reduced labor/work.  This is useful for a number of reasons — (a) it will be persuasive to judges who want you to debate the topic as a whole, (b) it will provide you with applicable arguments in the event that you do not win something is a particular application of the IoT (that some example you use is not topical).

Impact your arguments.  If you say the IoT will improve the economy, explain why economic growth is good.  Policy debaters will usually say it stops an economic decline that will trigger a world war.  That will probably be too much for lay judges, but you can say economic growth increases employment, reducing poverty. Similarly, if you say that the IoT reduces climate change, you should argue that climate change is bad. Again, policy debaters will argue that climate change causes human extinction.  This will be too much for lay judges (I once had a judge vote against one of my debaters solely for claiming that climate change causes human extinction, which he found to be ludicrous), but you can argue that climate change hurts crop production, increases storms, increases diseases, etc.

Some teams may put arguments such as “economic growth good” as framework arguments (arguing it is really the most important thing), but these are really just impacts.

Have a position on privacy.  You know the Con will argue privacy (they sort of have to), so it makes sense to get your answers to this established early.  One way to handle it is to simply list your answers to privacy, almost as an underview.  Another more sophisticated approach is to argue that we need a shifting conception of the value of privacy because of all of the benefits produced by the IoT.  In other words, star your weighing early.

Advantage areas

There are a number of general and specific benefits to the IoT.  For now, I have simply listed them out in no particular order, but as you read through them think about how you can categorize them into general and specific benefits This will not only help you with constructing your case (as described above), but it will also help you with making sure you are prepared to answer at least the categories of IoT benefits when you are Con.

Economy

There are as number of ways the IoT will benefit the economy.

One, sale of IoT products will generate trillions of dollars in economic activity.

Wikipedia, no date Internet of Things, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_of_things DOA: 9-25-16

According to the CEO of Cisco, the commercial opportunity for “connected products ranging from cars to household goods” is expected to be a $USD 19 trillion.[121] Many IoT devices have a potential to take a piece of this market

Two, it adds a lot of value to many products as well as boosts overall commercial efficiency.

Intel, no date, A Guide to the Internet of Things, http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/internet-of-things/infographics/guide-to-iot.html

Most IoT smart devices aren’t in your home or phone—they are in factories, businesses, and healthcare. Why? Because smart objects give these major industries the vital data they need to track inventory, manage machines, increase efficiency, save costs, and even save lives. By 2025, the total global worth of IoT technology could be as much as USD 6.2 trillion—most of that value from devices in health care (USD 2.5 trillion) and manufacturing (USD 2.3 trillion).2

Democracy

The IoT can be used to promote civic engagement in many different ways

Wikipedia, no date Internet of Things, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_of_things DOA: 9-25-16

Some scholars and activists argue that the IoT can be used to create new models of civic engagement if device networks can be open to user control and inter-operable platforms. Philip N. Howard, a professor and author, writes that political life in both democracies and authoritarian regimes will be shaped by the way the IoT will be used for civic engagement. For that to happen, he argues that any connected device should be able to divulge a list of the “ultimate beneficiaries” of its sensor data, and that individual citizens should be able to add new organizations to the beneficiary list. In addition, he argues that civil society groups need to start developing their IoT strategy for making use of data and engaging with the public.

Cloud Computing Good

A strong Cloud is critical to the IoT.

Daniel Burrus is considered one of the world’s leading technology forecasters and innovation experts, and is the founder and CEO of Burrus Research. He is the author of six books including the New York Times best seller “Flash Foresight.”, November 2014, The Internet of Things is Bigger than Anyone Realizes, https://www.wired.com/insights/2014/11/the-internet-of-things-bigger/

A sensor is not a machine. It doesn’t do anything in the same sense that a machine does. It measures, it evaluates; in short, it gathers data. The Internet of Things really comes together with the connection of sensors and machines. That is to say, the real value that the Internet of Things creates is at the intersection of gathering data and leveraging it. All the information gathered by all the sensors in the world isn’t worth very much if there isn’t an infrastructure in place to analyze it in real time Cloud-based applications are the key to using leveraged data. The Internet of Things doesn’t function without cloud-based applications to interpret and transmit the data coming from all these sensors. The cloud is what enables the apps to go to work for you anytime, anywhere.

So if the IoT develops, so will cloud computing.

Cloud computing can provide benefits in a number of other sectors of the economy, including defense, aerospace, and general information technology. Our evidence release contains an entire section on cloud computing impacts.

General Environment

There are a number of different reasons the IoT could improve the environment, some of which have been discussed above.

Here I will add some additional reasons

(a) Waste – The IoT makes it easier to keep precise track of things that need to be replaced and replace them only when necessary.

Tech Target, no date, Internet of Things, http://internetofthingsagenda.techtarget.com/definition/Internet-of-Things-IoT DOA: 9-25-16

Kevin Ashton, cofounder and executive director of the Auto-ID Center at MIT, first mentioned the Internet of Things in a presentation he made to Procter & Gamble in 1999. Here’s how Ashton explains the potential of the Internet of Things: “Today computers — and, therefore, the internet — are almost wholly dependent on human beings for information. Nearly all of the roughly 50 petabytes (a petabyte is 1,024 terabytes) of data available on the internet were first captured and created by human beings by typing, pressing a record button, taking a digital picture or scanning a bar code.  The problem is, people have limited time, attention and accuracy — all of which means they are not very good at capturing data about things in the real world. If we had computers that knew everything there was to know about things — using data they gathered without any help from us — we would be able to track and count everything and greatly reduce waste, loss and cost. We would know when things needed replacing, repairing or recalling and whether they were fresh or past their best.”

Agriculture

IoT allows precision agriculture and farming adjustments

Michael Chui, et al, McKinsey Quarterly, March 2010, The Internet of Things, http://www.mckinsey.com/industries/high-tech/our-insights/the-internet-of-things
But the predictable pathways of information are changing: the physical world itself is becoming a type of information system. In what’s called the Internet of Things, sensors and actuators embedded in physical objects—from roadways to pacemakers—are linked through wired and wireless networks, often using the same Internet Protocol (IP) that connects the Internet. These networks churn out huge volumes of data that flow to computers for analysis. When objects can both sense the environment and communicate, they become tools for understanding complexity and responding to it swiftly. What’s revolutionary in all this is that these physical information systems are now beginning to be deployed, and some of them even work largely without human intervention. Pill-shaped microcameras already traverse the human digestive tract and send back thousands of images to pinpoint sources of illness. Precision farming equipment with wireless links to data collected from remote satellites and ground sensors can take into account crop conditions and adjust the way each individual part of a field is farmed—for instance, by spreading extra fertilizer on areas that need more nutrients

Security

The ability to gain instant information from a variety of sources makes it possible to

Michael Chui is a senior fellow with the McKinsey Global Institute, Markus Löffler is a principal in McKinsey’s Stuttgart office, and Roger Roberts is a principal in the Silicon Valley office, March 2010, The Internet of Things, http://www.mckinsey.com/industries/high-tech/our-insights/the-internet-of-things DOA: 9-25-16

Security personnel, for instance, can use sensor networks that combine video, audio, and vibration detectors to spot unauthorized individuals who enter restricted areas. Some advanced security systems already use elements of these technologies, but more far-reaching applications are in the works as sensors become smaller and more powerful, and software systems more adept at analyzing and displaying captured information. Logistics managers for airlines and trucking lines already are tapping some early capabilities to get up-to-the-second knowledge of weather conditions, traffic patterns, and vehicle locations. In this way, these managers are increasing their ability to make constant routing adjustments that reduce congestion costs and increase a network’s effective capacity. In another application, law-enforcement officers can get instantaneous data from sonic sensors that are able to pinpoint the location of gunfire.

It also makes it easier to connect the dots in counter terror operations

Patrick Tusker, 2014, The Naked Future, Kindle edition, page number at end of card, Patrick Tucker is a science journalist and editor. Tucker’s writing on emerging technology has appeared in The Atlantic, Defense One, Quartz, National Journal, Slate, Salon, The Sun, MIT Technology Review, Wilson Quarterly, The Futurist, BBC News Magazine, and Utne Reader, among other publications. Tucker, Patrick. The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move? . Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

For instance, say you’re watching two suspects in a network. Person A is connected to person B through several affiliations. Person A makes a particular type of purchase, say, buying twelve rolls of toilet paper, before robbing a bank. The next day person B goes to a convenience store and buys twelve rolls of toilet paper. It’s reasonable to infer he might be preparing to rob a bank. It’s not enough to make an arrest but it does suggest an emerging pattern. The practice of connection tracking, even when all that’s being observed is correlation, is extremely fruitful in intelligence. In 2003, after months of trying to get information on Saddam Hussein’s whereabouts from Hussein’s senior officers and inner circle, the U.S. military used a social network mapping tool called i2 to chart the connections between his chauffeurs. This led them eventually to the farmhouse in Tikrit where Hussein was captured. 20 Tracing the social network of a dictator during war is rather less controversial than analyzing the connections of millions of Americans. Yet this is what the U.S. government under the Obama administration has begun to do. The obscure National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) routinely keeps personal transaction information, flight information, and other types of data on Americans who have neither been convicted nor are under suspicion of a crime. It does so for as long as five years under the vague auspice that it may be useful in some sort of investigation one day, even if that information isn’t relevant to any operation at the time of collection. The subjects of this transaction surveillance are people who have found their way into the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE), an enormous database of known terrorists, suspected terrorists, people who are loosely associated with suspected terrorists in some way (beekeepers, elementary school teachers, et cetera)— more than five hundred thousand links in all. The government has also given itself license to share the data across departments and even with other governments, despite the Privacy Act of 1974, which prohibits this sort of sharing. 21 If legal, technical, and public relations costs of expanding surveillance remain as low as they are now, it’s easy to imagine law enforcement considering a much broader array of connections and transactions worthy of monitoring. Tucker, Patrick. The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move? (p. 220). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Con teams are likely to make security arguments, either as independent harms to the IoT or as impacts to privacy (or both), so it may be good for the Pro to start this debate so that they can get an upper hand.

Education

More information and greater access to it will make it easy to improve education

Patrick Tusker, 2014, The Naked Future, Kindle edition, page number at end of card, Patrick Tucker is a science journalist and editor. Tucker’s writing on emerging technology has appeared in The Atlantic, Defense One, Quartz, National Journal, Slate, Salon, The Sun, MIT Technology Review, Wilson Quarterly, The Futurist, BBC News Magazine, and Utne Reader, among other publications. Tucker, Patrick. The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move? . Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

THE year is 2020. You’re at a parent-teacher conference on the eve of the first day of a new school year. Your daughter is going into freshmen algebra tomorrow and you’re at this conference to meet her new teacher. You show up armed with every math quiz, every math problem that your child has attempted throughout elementary and middle school, as well as a breakdown of how long she took on each and at what time during the day— after breakfast, before dinner— she performed best. The profile may even reveal whom your daughter talks to online, whom she studies with, and how those supposed friends influence her homework performance. This is a lot of information to carry around. If you were to print all this material, you would be dragging boxes along behind you. But this information is already stored on the cloud. All you have to do is give your child’s teacher a link. You have a request: “Would you mind taking all this data and creating an individual learning program for my daughter to make positively sure she finishes this year with an understanding of algebra? By the way, she’s very shy, won’t ask any questions in class,   and probably can’t devote more than an hour to algebra a night. Thank you.” Eight years of quiz scores footnoted and time-stamped? Facebook friends? Television-watching habits? What teacher in 2014 has the time to figure out the relevance of all that information? Not when lesson plans need writing, parents need to be called, and quizzes need grading. Thankfully, this isn’t 2014. Your daughter’s teacher opens the link on her phone and downloads the relevant files. They’re automatically run through a modeling app that sends her a notification. She suddenly knows exactly how well your kid will do on the first four quizzes, right down to which errors she’s going to make. “It seems your daughter keeps reversing second- and third-order operations. We’ll start drilling on those tomorrow. I’ll schedule a half-hour online tutoring session for the evening, right after Teen Mom?” “That would be great,” you answer, thankful that you aren’t being asked to come between your daughter and your daughter’s violent devotion to her favorite show on TV. “There’s one more thing,” says the teacher. “The profile shows that when Becky is confronted by a particularly hard problem she’ll switch over to Drawsomewords 8 for five minutes or so. She seems to have great spatial-representation skills. I have a friend that designs drafting freeware at a studio downtown. I think that if we can get your daughter an internship, it might help her make the connection between math and drawing and then she’ll exhibit a bit less resistance   resistance to second- and third-order operations.” This offer seems generous, perhaps too much so. “Isn’t she a bit young for an internship? I mean, it’s her first year of high school.” The teacher nods politely. “She’s a bit late, actually. The average student her age has already started a company. But I think I can pull some strings.” • • • HOW does the above scenario become reality (and do we want it to)? For starters, the feedback loop between a teacher administering a lesson and a student taking a test needs to collapse to the second or two it takes a student to click a mouse. More important, the time and convenience costs of keeping records on individual student performance would need to fall to virtually zero. Finally, teachers, state education secretaries, administrators, parents, and employers would have to be willing to accept new performance metrics in place of what we today call grades. Every item on that list, except for the last one, exists in 2014. But the most important step is philosophical. We need to acknowledge what education is today: essential, expensive, and in terrible shape. The United States spends more than $ 10,000 a year per elementary and secondary student; that’s $ 2,000 above Japan and $ 4,000 above South Korea, two countries where students are outperforming us in science and math. Even if we don’t know how to invest in school, we understand its importance. We’ve absorbed the fact that high school should prepare students for college because a college degree has never been a more essential credential to join the middle class. People with different education levels experience the same national economy in dramatically different ways. Unemployment among people with a high school degree was 8 percent in December 2012. Among people with a bachelor’s degree it was 4 percent. Statistically, people with a master’s degree or higher saw no employment collapse during the Great Recession. While it’s true that nearly half of all 2012 college grads in the United States were either unemployed or, far more likely, underemployed in low-wage jobs (and carrying an average of $ 27,000 in school debt), they were still faring better than their peers who did not have a degree. This speaks to a national skills gap that’s growing along the lines of economic class. Low-skilled jobs are partly being replaced by a smaller number of high-skilled jobs. Even as GM parts factories were shuttering in Michigan, kids in Silicon Valley were seeing their start-ups bought out in a matter of months. In many cases it wasn’t because of the products or services those fledgling companies were building but because of the talent contained therein, a phenomenon sometimes called acqui-hiring. Our nation’s response to our education challenge (both locally and nationally) embodies the worst aspects of an obsolete mind-set. A slavish devotion to lecturing has been compounded by a nascent   obsession with testing. Whether it’s the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) reports mandated by No Child Left Behind, SAT scores, or just finals, the effect is the same: at the end of a designated interval— a week, a semester— teachers ask students to take a test. Too often we accept whatever result comes back as an objective and useful indication of the students’ command of the material (administered via lecture). We do this despite the fact that history is full of intelligent people who didn’t perform well on standardized tests and we know people forget information they’ve been successfully tested on. A lot of this testing is purely for the sake of identifying failing schools and teachers. Increasingly little of it has to do with helping students learn. Lectures make testing necessary. Testing makes lectures important. Testing is the big data present. The naked future looks very different. Tucker, Patrick. The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move? (p. 132). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. The Teacher as Superstar The year is 2007 and Stanford professor Andrew Ng is in front of four hundred students, giving his famous and highly rated lecture on machine learning. He asks a question of the undergrads assembled before him and observes three distinct behaviors in response. Ten percent of the class is slumped back; these students are texting, checking Facebook, or recovering from hangovers. They’re what you might call “zoned out.” About half the students are still madly typing the last thing said, displaying the sort of dedicated   academic seriousness that propelled them through AP courses to get to Stanford. But they aren’t raising their hands. Thirty percent or so sit quietly, waiting for someone else to answer. Only a few kids near the front, less than 1 percent by Ng’s estimation, ask to be called on. If one of them gets the question right, Ng can breathe a sigh of relief and move on to the rest of the material. The predictable dreariness of this lecture hall exchange began to depress Ng. It’s a scene you could find in virtually any lecture hall today. Indeed, the lecture has changed relatively little from the time of Socrates, as evinced by the fact that Plato spends most of The Republic following Socrates around taking notes. It’s a method of teaching that has endured because it’s functional, which is not exactly a compliment. When Ng looked out over that horde of four hundred students, he recognized himself among them, one of the quiet kids, neither waving his hand nor asleep, simply sitting, passive and indecipherable. “I was a shy kid back in school. So raising your hand and asking a question, or answering a question, I did that sometimes, but not always,” he tells me in his office on the Stanford campus. Andrew Ng, it turns out, was fortunate to be a quiet student. If not for this quality of bashfulness, he would never have started his company, Coursera, which is remaking education for the twenty-first century. Today, anyone in the world can familiarize themselves with the   fundamentals of machine learning through Andrew Ng’s massively open online course (MOOC). It boasted more than one hundred thousand alumni by July 2012. In his interactive instructional videos, Ng comes across very much as he does in real life. He is polite, serious, attentive, constrained in his movements, but friendly. He is not as shy as he was as an undergraduate at Carnegie Mellon but he remains an exceptionally soft-spoken man. Though he lectures quite successfully to auditoriums, he is clearly an instructor who thrives on one-on-one exchanges. His online course affords him the opportunity for this type of interaction with tens of thousands of people. Coursera offers a huge departure in the way student performance is measured and understood. Instead of tests at the end of the week or semester, short, interactive quizzes are interspersed throughout the lesson, in keeping with the human attention span as science actually understands it (not how headmasters want it to be). Every student must interact with the material as they’re studying it, not afterward. This allows Ng’s online platform to be not only an information distribution system but a telemetric data collection system. “We can log every mouse click, every time you speed up or slow down the video, every time you replay a particular five-second piece of the video. Every quiz submission, be it right or wrong, we know exactly how many seconds you took to do every quiz, and every post you read or posted. We’re starting to look at this data, which is giving us, I think, a new window into human learning,” Ng told me. Tucker, Patrick. The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move? (p. 134). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Health care

There are many ways the IoT will improve health care

1 – Diagnoses and treatment

Michael Chui is a senior fellow with the McKinsey Global Institute, Markus Löffler is a principal in McKinsey’s Stuttgart office, and Roger Roberts is a principal in the Silicon Valley office, March 2010, The Internet of Things, http://www.mckinsey.com/industries/high-tech/our-insights/the-internet-of-things DOA: 9-25-16

In health care, sensors and data links offer possibilities for monitoring a patient’s behavior and symptoms in real time and at relatively low cost, allowing physicians to better diagnose disease and prescribe tailored treatment regimens. Patients with chronic illnesses, for example, have been outfitted with sensors in a small number of health care trials currently under way, so that their conditions can be monitored continuously as they go about their daily activities. One such trial has enrolled patients with congestive heart failure. These patients are typically monitored only during periodic physician office visits for weight, blood pressure, and heart rate and rhythm. Sensors placed on the patient can now monitor many of these signs remotely and continuously, giving practitioners early warning of conditions that would otherwise lead to unplanned hospitalizations and expensive emergency care. Better management of congestive heart failure alone could reduce hospitalization and treatment costs by a billion dollars annually in the United States.

2 – Reduced accidental death

Janna Anderson and Lee Raine, 2014, The Internet of Things Will Thrive by 2025, http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/05/14/internet-of-things/   Pew Research Center DOA: 9-28-16

Tucker went on to forecast the benefits of all this connected computing: “One positive effect of ‘ubiquitous computing,’ as it used to be called, will be much faster, more convenient, and lower-cost medical diagnostics. This will be essential if we are to meet the health care needs of a rapidly aging Baby Boomer generation. The Internet of Things will also improve safety in cities, as cars, networked to one another and their environment, will better avoid collisions, coordinate speed, etc. We will all be able to bring much more situational intelligence to bear on the act of planning our day, avoiding delays (or unfortunate encounters), and meeting our personal goals. We are entering the telemetric age—an age where we create information in everything that we do. As computation continues to grow less costly, we will incorporate more data-collecting devices into our lives.”

3 – Assistance with improving our own health

Janna Anderson and Lee Raine, 2014, The Internet of Things Will Thrive by 2025, http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/05/14/internet-of-things/   Pew Research Center DOA: 9-28-16

David-Michel Davies, executive director, The Webby Awards and Co-Founder of Internet Week, said, “Our overall health – lifespan, disease rate and quality of life – will greatly improve by 2025 due in large part to the Internet of Things. One of the big opportunities it will provide is the ability to close our own feedback loop – to incorporate real-time biometric feedback into our lives. Even today, in 2014, relatively rudimentary and simple apps like Nike + and 24/7 (an app that uses the Motion x chip in the iPhone to passively tracks steps, sleep pattern etc.) is supporting improved fitness and quality of life for millions of people. When these technologies are not constrained to your smart phone, but part of a powerful biometric monitoring program that keeps track of your vital signs every second of the day and is accessible to you, your personal medical community and sophisticated computational power and software that can not only help you view the information and understand it, but also compare it to vast sets of other data so that it becomes not just an indicator of health or sickness, but even predictive – we will live much, much longer…. What’s interesting to me is what happens when we look like a fifty year old at the age of 85? What happens when we have healthy hearts and bodies when we are 90? The societal implications and opportunities are incredible but also scary. One can imagine becoming a wiser society, with elderly and experienced people remaining active long after they retire today, their perspective and life experience around longer with a greater opportunity to impact the world and shape their families. A traditional three generational family extending into four generations more consistently. That is exciting! But longer lives could also mean new kinds of diseases and sicknesses, ones that our bodies have not dealt with yet because we have, to date, died before their onset. These ailments may be worst – more traumatic, more costly and more damaging to society – than the ones we face today.”

4- Reduced health care errors

Patrick Tusker, 2014, The Naked Future, Kindle edition, page number at end of card, Patrick Tucker is a science journalist and editor. Tucker’s writing on emerging technology has appeared in The Atlantic, Defense One, Quartz, National Journal, Slate, Salon, The Sun, MIT Technology Review, Wilson Quarterly, The Futurist, BBC News Magazine, and Utne Reader, among other publications. Tucker, Patrick. The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move? . Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

In 2012 University of Pennsylvania researcher David Almeida and some colleagues published a paper showing that the most important predictor of a future chronic health condition (aside from smoking, drinking, and engaging in conspicuously unhealthy behavior) was overreacting to routine, psychologically taxing incidents. When they interviewed subjects about how little stressors such as car breakdowns, angry e-mails, small disappointments, the little annoyances of modern life, affected them emotionally, they found that “for every one unit increase in affective reactivity [people reporting a big emotional change resulting from the stressful event], there was a 10% increase in the risk of reporting a chronic health condition 10 years later.” 10 The researchers didn’t find that people who were exposed to more stressful experiences were more likely to develop a chronic health condition. Rather, the increase was isolated to people who reported feeling very different emotionally on a day that they encountered a stressor than on a day when they did not. 11 This is a classic inside-view problem. Very few people keep track of how they react to little stressors. The costs of keeping such a record, in terms of inconvenience, are too high. Yet hidden in those reactions may be powerful clues to our future health. If it were easy and cheap to keep that data around, and if we were able to make sense of it quickly, we would surely keep a log of how stressed we felt at any given moment. When I asked Kahneman via Skype at the Singularity Summit 2012 what he thought of the self-quant trend, he was guardedly optimistic about the potential applications of quantification techniques for physicians. Adopting the outside view will never be intuitive, he said. “But at least in principle there is an opportunity for people to discover regularities in their own lives. There will be an opportunity to look at the outcome of similar cases . . . A physician could have intuitions about a patient, but supplementing that intuition with instantly available statistics will likely result in fewer mistakes” (emphasis added). Tucker, Patrick. The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move? (p. 42). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Climate Change

There are a number of ways the IoT can help deal with climate change.

1 — Real time data collection enables appropriate climate modeling necessary to avoid human extinction

Patrick Tusker, 2014, The Naked Future, Kindle edition, page number at end of card, Patrick Tucker is a science journalist and editor. Tucker’s writing on emerging technology has appeared in The Atlantic, Defense One, Quartz, National Journal, Slate, Salon, The Sun, MIT Technology Review, Wilson Quarterly, The Futurist, BBC News Magazine, and Utne Reader, among other publications. Tucker, Patrick. The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move? . Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Because we live in the age of the vaunted entrepreneur, when even our most nominally right-leaning politicians make frequent habit of praising the free market and all its wondrous efficiencies while denigrating government as bloated and inefficient, we may draw from the story of Freidberg and von Neumann the simple yet wrong conclusion that business was able to adapt to our rapidly changing climate where government failed to arrest it because the business mentality is inherently superior to that of the public servant. We would do well to remember that Climate Corporation does not have to take a direct stance on man-made climate change to sell   its product. It’s a company that provides a real and valuable service but it isn’t fixing climate change so much as profiting from a more advanced understanding of it. Higher corn prices and decreased crops can create profit but they do not— in themselves— create value. Ultimately, we will have to fix this problem, and government will have to be part of that solution. 19 If not for the wisdom, creativity, and genius of people who weren’t afraid to be labeled public servants, there would be no international satellite data for NOAA to help Climate Corporation improve its models. There may not even be computers, as we understand them, on which to write code or do calculations. Today, in many respects, we are moving backward on climate change even as we have learned to profit by it. But we are finally just beginning to understand what climate change means to us as individuals, which, perhaps ironically, could be the critical step in addressing the greatest problem we have ever faced. As the big data present becomes the naked future, we may still be able to save our species as Tucker, Patrick. The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move? (p. 86). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Beyond adapting to climate change, IoT promotes the development of the smart grid

Texas Instruments, A smarter grid with the Internet of Things, http://e2e.ti.com/blogs_/b/smartgrid/archive/2014/05/08/a-smarter-grid-with-the-internet-of-things

As we take a broad look at the Internet of Things (IoT) this week, I wanted to take a deeper look at how the IoT will deliver a smarter grid (and visa versa) to enable more information and connectivity throughout the infrastructure and to homes. Through the IoT, consumers, manufacturers and utility providers will uncover new ways to manage devices and ultimately conserve resources and save money. Let’s take a look at how smart meters are being implemented worldwide to connect the smart grid to your homes. With the global focus on energy management and conservation, the IoT will extend the connected benefits of the smart grid beyond the distribution, automation and monitoring being done by utility providers. Management systems for in-home and in-building use will help consumers monitor their own usage and adjust behaviors. These systems will eventually regulate automatically by operating during off-peak energy hours and connect to sensors to monitor occupancy, lighting conditions, and more. But it all starts with a smarter and more connected grid. The first key step towards a smart grid that makes the IoT real is the mass deployment of smart meters. Millions of meters are already connected today and the connected grid momentum is growing. However, to obtain its maximum potential, the first step for the smart grid is to transition from mechanical meters to smart electronic meters to establish two-way communication between the meter and utility providers. The adoption rate of smart electrical meters in the U.S. is close to 50 percent with millions of electrical meters deployed today in the field, connected to the grid and regularly communicating data. Essentially, electrical meters are extending their functions from an energy measuring device to a two-way communication system. Modern e-meters must meet certain criteria to play such a critical role in the smart grid and IoT. First, meters need to report energy consumption information from houses and buildings back to the utilities. In the U.S., the appropriate solution is low power RF (LPRF) communication using a Sub-1 GHz mesh network. However, depending of the country and the nature of the grid, a wireless solution might not be the best choice, for example in Spain or France where wired narrowband OFDM power line communication (PLC) technologies are used. There is no one connectivity solution that fits all deployments. Making the IoT real requires a larger portfolio that can go from wired to wireless and sometimes combined together. Second, the meter needs to deliver useful power consumption information into the home through an in-home display or a gateway. This information allows consumers to adapt energy behavior and lower utility bills. In the U.S. the ZigBee standard is being used in combination with Smart Energy application profile. Other countries such as the U.K. or Japan are evaluating Sub-1 GHz RF or PLC solutions for greater reach or a combination implementation with both hybrid RF and PLC. So in essence, electrical meters are becoming smart sensors for the IoT that communicate both ways, inside and outside homes and buildings, connected to each other in a mesh network while reporting essential energy data to utilities. Additionally, a smart meter needs to support advanced functions like dynamic pricing, demand response, remote connect and disconnect, network security, over-the-air downloads and post-installation upgrades so utility providers don’t have to send out technicians to each meter. As you can see, the smart grid plays a critical role in supporting the IoT – but it’s just the beginning. Connecting devices together in building and homes is one of the next steps to reach the full benefits of the smart grid and many innovative solutions and convenient applications are already offered to the consumers. The introduction of dedicated home energy gateways, smart-hub or energy management systems will greatly accelerate connected grid and IoT benefits for consumers. For more information, read this whitepaper to learn how TI is creating a smarter grid with the Internet of Things.

The smart grid promotes energy efficiency and reduces CO2 emissions

The Globe and Mail, August 2013, 8 ways the Internet will change the way we live and work, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-magazine/the-future-is-smart/article24586994/, DOA: 9-25-16

The grid was designed to deliver power on an as-needed basis, to delicately balance supply and demand—a challenge, given that demand varies by time of day, by weather and by season. A heat wave, a blizzard—heck, even an Academy Awards broadcast—can all stress this aged infrastructure. To meet sudden spikes, backup power stations and diesel generators must stand at the ready, gobbling up scarce resources. It is far from efficient. The basic theory behind the so-called Smart Grid is simple: Power is priced on the basis of demand, and this information is transmitted immediately to smart meters, thermostats and appliances so that they can draw the power they need at off-peak times, when it’s cheapest. This system uses market forces to balance the system loads and should, in theory, make power networks less susceptible to black- and brownouts. Pilot programs, most notably in Italy and Texas, have demonstrated that the theory can work in the real world. The U.S. has set 2030 as an informal deadline to implement most of the components of the smart grid; Ontario’s Hydro One is one of many regional utilities worldwide currently working to smarten up its network. It’s shooting for 2025, though it has already re-placed many old meters with smart ones. For now, they’re simply transmitting time-of-day usage directly to the utility. But the meters could, in the future, receive information on pricing and the total demands placed on the system, and govern themselves accordingly. Power lines and pipelines are getting a high-tech upgrade, too. Data collected by sensors in the lines can be analyzed to detect and isolate maintenance problems. And predictive software already on the market can anticipate which trees are most likely to fall and take down lines. Cisco builds pipelines lined with sensitive fibres that can sense leaks and radio for help right away. For aging pipelines, GE has developed software that collates seismic data, topographical details, population density, and hospital and school locations to help make maintenance decisions on an ongoing basis or in emergencies. The growth of renewable energy sources also hinges in large part on the smart grid. By next year, according to the International Energy Association, renewables will replace natural gas as the world’s second-largest source of power (coal is still on top). Here in Canada, wind and solar are by far the fastest-growing power-generating sectors (though they still account for just a few per cent of the total). While they may be easier on the environment, they put major pressure on the grid, since the energy generated by solar and wind farms varies by time of year and day, throwing out of whack its delicate balancing act. Solar panels that can communicate the amount of power they’re generating already exist. It remains to knit fields full of these panels into the grid, and to find a scalable battery to store overflow when we don’t need it. Wind is suffering similar integration issues, though the latest generation of turbines themselves are already benefiting from Internet of Things technology. GE-built turbines on the leading edge of a wind farm can let those behind them know that a gust is coming, prompting them to immediately alter the angle of their blades to protect themselves from damage and lengthen their lives. A relatively new software program also processes the data collected by turbine sensors and proposes the optimal angles to generate more power, increasing wind-farm production by as much as 5%.

Smart cars reduce accidents and massively reduce CO2 emissions

The Globe and Mail, August 2013, 8 ways the Internet will change the way we live and work, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-magazine/the-future-is-smart/article24586994/, DOA: 9-25-16

he research firm Gartner has estimated that, by 2020, there will be 250 million connected cars on the world’s roads, with many of them capable of driving themselves. There are eight million traffic accidents each year and 1.3 million crash-related deaths; Cisco’s Smart, Connected Vehicles division has posited that autonomous cars could eliminate as many as 85% of head-on collisions. They could also help ease traffic, since they’ll be able to communicate their positions to each other and therefore drive much closer together than vehicles piloted by humans. Traffic experts call this “platooning”—packing more cars into the same road space—and it could help save drivers at least some of the 90 billion hours they currently spend stuck in jams each year, generating 220 million metric tonnes of carbon-equivalent and wasting at least $1 trillion in fuel costs and lost productivity.

Manufacturing

The Chinese are investing in IoT manufacturing

Bill Wasik, May 14, 2013, In the Programmable World, All Our Objects Will Act as One, https://www.wired.com/2013/05/internet-of-things-2/

In the industrial realm, there’s a similar dynamic at work but with even higher stakes. Massive US companies like IBM (through its Smarter Planet initiatives), Qualcomm, and Cisco all see ubiquitous connectivity as a way to sell more products and services—particularly Big Data–style analysis—to their large corporate customers. Chinese manufacturers have much the same idea, and the Chinese government is pumping hundreds of millions of dollars every year into so-called Internet of Things­–based manufacturing. (This project kicked off a few years ago when China’s then premier Wen Jiabao put forward the following equation in a speech: “Internet + Internet of Things = Wisdom of the Earth.”) Global analysts look at all these developments and project that by 2025 there will be 1 trillion networked devices worldwide in the consumer and industrial sectors combined.

And the IoT will help us dramatically improve manufacturing and lower costs

Bill Wasik, May 14, 2013, In the Programmable World, All Our Objects Will Act as One, https://www.wired.com/2013/05/internet-of-things-2/

Take one case in point: General Electric, which has been trying to apply the sensor revolution (what it calls the Industrial Internet) to 50 different projects across scores of businesses, from wind turbines to railroad locomotives to a pilot program with Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York that predicts, based on sensors in beds, when rooms will become available. But perhaps GE’s most remarkable application of this program has been to its own manufacturing process at the Durathon battery factory, completed last year in Schenectady, New York. Its biggest manufacturing challenge is the high tech ceramics that separate the electrodes inside the battery: Tiny variations in the mixing and firing process can lead to huge swings in quality and consistency of these ceramics. So the solution, GE’s team decided, was to engineer their way to consistency through data. Step by step, they developed and refined their process using feedback from the machines. One crucial step was near the beginning, in mixing the powder that would eventually be pressed to form the ceramics. The team didn’t know the optimal mixing time needed to give that powder a perfectly even consistency that wouldn’t vary from batch to batch. And since the raw materials would themselves vary slightly—in density, for example, or moisture content—the mixing time would need to vary too. So, says Randy Rausch, a manager of manufacturing engineering at the plant, “we put a sensor on everything,” from the outside of the factory to the inside of the room to the inside of the vat to the innards of the machines. Eventually the team realized that the powder was ideally mixed when it reached a certain viscosity. The key sensor, it turned out, was inside the mixing apparatus itself: When it needed to draw more than a certain amount of power, indicating that the powder was at just the right thickness, the process was done. In many ways, this is the most extreme possible example of a first-stage usage. GE estimates that this single factory generates some 10,000 data points every second, and using that data has allowed GE to eliminate the high defect rates that typically plague high tech ceramics. Yet it has done it through pure data analysis, not through the actual coordination of these low-level sensors and devices. Like the consumer-hardware makers linking up their products to distinguish them from ordinary toasters and refrigerators, GE is connecting its industrial components to solve a near-term business problem. But in the process, the company and its industrial brethren are laying the groundwork for a far deeper transformation.

Transportation

IOT will improve transportation efficiency

Government Technology, August 10, 2016, What is the Internet of Things? http://www.govtech.com/fs/What-is-the-Internet-of-Things.html

Then there’s the world of the connected vehicle. Through the Smart City Challenge, the U.S. Department of Transportation elicited myriad futuristic concepts from government leaders for how connected vehicles might help improve transportation. Transit vehicles could coordinate centrally so that an early train could wait for the passengers on a late bus. Traffic lights could become more efficient at letting traffic through. Programs could seek to shunt traffic from congested roads onto free-flowing side streets. Sensors in parking spots could help reduce the amount of time people spend circling the block in search of an open space.

This will enable massive reductions in gridlock in cities.

The Globe and Mail, August 2013, 8 ways the Internet will change the way we live and work, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-magazine/the-future-is-smart/article24586994/, DOA: 9-25-16

More than half of the world’s people now live in urban centres, and almost two-thirds of us will do so by 2050—which means 2.5 billion more city-dwellers to house, employ and transport. That’s a nightmare scenario for today’s cities, plagued, as so many are, by traffic, smog, crime, overflowing trash bins and inefficient lighting that gobbles between one-quarter and half of municipal electricity budgets. But technologies being tested right now will help the cities of the future better cope with the looming migration. Stoplights with embedded video sensors can adjust their greens and reds according to where the cars are and the time of day. They’re a double-win, reducing both congestion and smog, since vehicles idling at red lights burn up to 17% of the fuel consumed in urban areas. In Barcelona’s Born Market, sensors embedded into parking spaces relay real-time information on empty spots to an app for would-be parkers. Siemens recently gave a grant to a start-up devoted to building parking drones that could guide cars to available spots. Sound trifling? It’s not: Up to 30% of congestion is caused by drivers cruising the streets in search of a place to park. Tel Aviv is tackling traffic on busier roadways by reserving one lane for buses, shuttles, taxis and car poolers—and allowing impatient and deep-pocketed commuters to use the designated lane, as well. Sensors in the asphalt pick up the car’s licence plate number and automatically charge the owner’s credit card at a rate that varies depending on how busy the road is. Smart LED streetlights in San Diego turn on only when a pedestrian or vehicle approaches—the city recently replaced 3,000 old streetlamps with sensor-equipped ones to save an estimated $250,000 a year. The Brits, in an effort to deter hooliganism, are testing a lamp that comes on extra-bright when it detects banging and hollering, and is armed with cameras that transmit a live video feed to the cloud.

Answering Privacy

Every Con team will obviously present an argument about privacy so it makes sense to address the privacy argument in your first constructive speech.

I think there are a few different approaches, all of which you should consider adopting both in the constructive and the rebuttal.

First, argue that the benefits of the IoT are not just external to the individual (boost the economy, reduce climate change) but are also good for the individual. Privacy is obviously an individual/personal impact, so it helps to have advantages that are intrinsic to the person to the IoT and explain that people themselves gain through a lose of privacy.

Second, teams can present a more general philosophical argument about the shifting value of privacy in the information age.

Third, teams should minimize the link

(a) This is not about privacy rights. Rights are claims that people have against the government. While it is the case that some of the IoT information is collected by the government, most of the information is collected by the private sector. People do not have rights vis-a-vis the private sector.

(b) The information collected is, in most cases, voluntarily provided.  Whenever you accept a user agreement to use Facebook, gmail, etc, they always ask for your opt in consent to use the information they collect in ways they choose (that are identified in the agreement).  There is no deprivation of rights if you choose to take advantage of the free service.

Fourth, In addition to making the arguments that you may have used in September-October to minimize the impact on privacy (don’t forget that arguments from past topics are often relevant!), I suggest the following —

You can shape how the data is used and control any privacy loss

Patrick Tusker, 2014, The Naked Future, Kindle edition, page number at end of card, Patrick Tucker is a science journalist and editor. Tucker’s writing on emerging technology has appeared in The Atlantic, Defense One, Quartz, National Journal, Slate, Salon, The Sun, MIT Technology Review, Wilson Quarterly, The Futurist, BBC News Magazine, and Utne Reader, among other publications. Tucker, Patrick. The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move? . Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Today, we’ve convinced ourselves that we can’t have improved public safety without giving up liberty. But perhaps in the future, children will see this trade-off as unnecessary, a failure of imagination. We’ve discounted the possibility that we can use public data and personal data in ways that empower individuals without making them feel uncomfortably exposed or more dangerous to one another. Get involved in how your local department uses or plans to use advanced analytics. Start a Facebook page that discusses how more involvement in how local police treat data is the trade-off we have to make for greater safety. You may get the brush-off, or you may be surprised to discover a bunch of smart public servants who are eager for more citizen participation. When police chiefs confront the reality of how income, employment, housing density, schooling, taxation, and even urban planning affect robbery, assault, and murder, they often start sounding less like cops and a lot more like sociologists. Tucker, Patrick. The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move? (pp. 221-222). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Your data is owned by you and you can use it to improve your own life

Patrick Tusker, 2014, The Naked Future, Kindle edition, page number at end of card, Patrick Tucker is a science journalist and editor. Tucker’s writing on emerging technology has appeared in The Atlantic, Defense One, Quartz, National Journal, Slate, Salon, The Sun, MIT Technology Review, Wilson Quarterly, The Futurist, BBC News Magazine, and Utne Reader, among other publications. Tucker, Patrick. The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move? . Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

The threat of creeping techno-totalitarianism is real. But the realization of our worst fears is not the inevitable result of growing computational capability. Just as the costs of using big data have decreased for institutions, those costs will continue to trend downward as systems improve and as consumer services spring up in a field that is currently dominated by business-to-business players. The balance of power will shift— somewhat— in favor of individuals. Your phone may be from Apple; your carrier may be AT& T; your browser may be Google; but your data is yours first because you created it through your actions. Think of it not as a liability but as an asset you can take ownership of and use. In the naked future, your data will help you live much more healthily, realize more of your own goals in less time, avoid inconvenience and danger, and, as detailed in this book, learn about yourself and your own future in a way that no generation in human history ever thought possible. In fact, your data is your best defense against coercive, Target-like marketing and perhaps even against intrusive government practices. Your data is nothing less than a superpower waiting to be harnessed. T We still have choices to make. I’ll discuss some of the forms those choices will take. But the worst possible move we as a society can make right now is demand that technological progress reverse itself. This is futile and shortsighted. We may be uncomfortable with the way companies, the NSA, and other groups use and abuse our information but that doesn’t mean we will be producing less data anytime soon. As I mentioned earlier, according to the research group IDC there will be forty-four times as much digital information in 2020 as there was in 2009.4 You have a clear choice: use your data or someone else will. This is not a book about a change that is going to happen so much as a change that has already occurred but has yet to be acknowledged or fully felt. This is not a declaration of independence from corporate America, the government, or anything else. It’s the record of our journey to this new place: the naked future. Tucker, Patrick. The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move? (p. xviii). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

IoT outweighs privacy because it can stop a deadly flu outbreak, including the deadly bird flu.

Patrick Tusker, 2014, The Naked Future, Kindle edition, page number at end of card, Patrick Tucker is a science journalist and editor. Tucker’s writing on emerging technology has appeared in The Atlantic, Defense One, Quartz, National Journal, Slate, Salon, The Sun, MIT Technology Review, Wilson Quarterly, The Futurist, BBC News Magazine, and Utne Reader, among other publications. Tucker, Patrick. The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move? . Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

PERHAPS you aren’t yet convinced that the naked future offers any improvement to compensate for the sacrifice of privacy that it demands. Certainly, this new era will distribute rewards and punishments unfairly and unequally (sort of like the Old Testament depiction of God). But consider that every year millions of people in the United States truck themselves down to clinics for flu shots and wind up getting the flu anyway. According to epidemiologists, flu shots are 70 percent effective in the general population at most. The reason? Every shot contains an (inactive) mixture of only the three virus strains that epidemiologists believe are going to be prevalent in the coming season. 2 In the last several years, that has included strains of H3N2 (the base of the swine flu virus and several other influenza strains common in mammals), H1N1 (the famous bird flu), and a variety of influenza B strains, which are considered less dangerous and more likely to strike later in the flu season. But this is a small percentage of the types of flu known to be in existence. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) almost apologetically states on its Web site, “It’s not possible to predict with certainty which flu viruses will predominate during a given season. Flu viruses are constantly changing (called ‘antigenic drift’)— they can change from one season to the next or they can even change within the course of one flu season. Experts must pick which viruses to include in the vaccine many months in advance in order for vaccine to be produced and delivered on time.” Perhaps it’s a sign of how far medicine has advanced that we, like naive children, simply assume the shots we get will actually work. 3 In the last several years, the emergence of superlarge, publicly accessible databases of virus sequences such as the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID) 4 and the National Institutes of Health’s GenBank5 have greatly reduced bureaucratic barriers to finding and sharing the most current information about new influenza observations. Wider use of sequencing technology could lead to earlier detection of new types of flu, which would help pharmaceutical companies create better vaccines. Today, devices like Life Science’s Ion Proton can sequence all 3 billion base pairs of the human genome in less than a day for a price of $ 1,000, according to the machine’s makers. With just eight ribonucleic acid (RNA) segments, influenza is an exponentially simpler organism to sequence than the human genome. But sequencing influenza is very rarely done at a nurse’s office— what epidemiologists call “the point of surveillance.” Instead, when flu samples are collected they’re usually sent to a county or state public health lab, by which point a great deal of time has been lost. Collecting samples from birds and animals that are showing flu symptoms is, arguably, a more important step in curbing the spread of new deadly flu types. But that sort of sampling doesn’t happen very often. As the editors of Nature pointed out in a recent Op-Ed: “Just 7 of the 39 countries with more than 100 million poultry in 2010 collected more than 1,000 avian flu samples between 2003 and 2011. Eight countries— Brazil, Morocco, the Philippines, Colombia, Ecuador, Algeria, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic— collected none at all . . .” 7, 8 The current state of flu detection leaves much to be desired. Yet the Josh Grant scenario outlined above could become reality within a decade. You can see its initial outlines today. Tucker, Patrick. The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move? (p. 55). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

People can scramble their own data

Patrick Tusker, 2014, The Naked Future, Kindle edition, page number at end of card, Patrick Tucker is a science journalist and editor. Tucker’s writing on emerging technology has appeared in The Atlantic, Defense One, Quartz, National Journal, Slate, Salon, The Sun, MIT Technology Review, Wilson Quarterly, The Futurist, BBC News Magazine, and Utne Reader, among other publications. Tucker, Patrick. The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move? . Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

What can we do to protect our privacy in a world where its value is falling faster than that of last year’s cell phone? One creative if tongue-in-cheek proposal comes from British artist Mark Shepard whose Sentient City Survival Kit includes such items as a CCD-Me-Not umbrella studded with 256 infrared light-emitting diods (LEDs) to scramble the night vision of closed-circuit camera systems. My favorite item in the kit is the Under( a) ware, a set of undergarments that can detect RFID tags and vibrate to alert the wearer. “In the near future sentient shopping center, item level tagging and discrete data sniffing will become both pervasive corporate culture and a common   common criminal pastime,” states a computerized voice on the demo video. Tucker, Patrick. The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move? (p. 217). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Transparency reduces police abuse

Patrick Tusker, 2014, The Naked Future, Kindle edition, page number at end of card, Patrick Tucker is a science journalist and editor. Tucker’s writing on emerging technology has appeared in The Atlantic, Defense One, Quartz, National Journal, Slate, Salon, The Sun, MIT Technology Review, Wilson Quarterly, The Futurist, BBC News Magazine, and Utne Reader, among other publications. Tucker, Patrick. The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move? . Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Unless our legal system becomes more transparent, accountable, and accessible we’ll never feel certain that the people looking out for us won’t abuse their power to persecute people who may technically be criminals but pose no real threat, such as pot smokers, prostitutes, and those who commit an act of trespass as part of a protest. How will we respond to this? Yes, we could put RFID tag readers in our underpants. Alternatively, we could decide to use surveillance and data to actually make the world safer and not abuse it. When you adopt the assumption that that’s possible, opportunities open up. If the bad news is the cops are going to have a better window into your career as a lawbreaker, the good news is that in the naked future you’re more than just a suspect on her way to her next crime; you’re a set of probabilities, potential costs, and potential benefits. The challenge for all of us now is to make the price of overzealous or discriminatory policing both high and conspicuous. The benefits of good policing must be more readily obvious as well. The social and public costs of pestering and prosecuting people for petty crimes should be visible to citizens, lawmakers, and police all at once. Before that happens we may have to settle for those costs becoming more transparent to law enforcement, where at least some departments or agencies will use them as part of their decision making. The same sort of technology that took away your privacy is beginning to provide that opportunity.

For a full list of potential advantage areas, see our Argument Map.

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