Issue #406
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a project of Dynamic Skillset Ltd.

Hello!

I hope you're well. A quick heads-up that, as usual, I won't be sending out this newsletter in December. So next week's will be the last of 2020.

Elsewhere this week, I published:
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A candour affected is a dagger concealed

🤯 The Next Decade Could Be Even Worse

📝 White privilege - a guide for parents

✊🏿 Kimberlé Crenshaw: the woman who revolutionised feminism – and landed at the heart of the culture wars

👩‍💻 Working from home could lead to more prejudice, report warns

🎩 The radical aristocrat who put kindness on a scientific footing

Quotation-as-title by Marcus Aurelius. Image from top-linked post.

Slowly-boiling frogs in Facebook's surveillance panopticon

I can't think of a worse company than Facebook than to be creating a IRL surveillance panopticon. But, I have to say, it's entirely on-brand.
On Wednesday, the company announced a plan to map the entire world, beyond street view. The company is launching a set of glasses that contains cameras, microphones, and other sensors to build a constantly updating map of the world in an effort called Project Aria. That map will include the inside of buildings and homes and all the objects inside of them. It’s Google Street View, but for your entire life.
Dave Gershgorn, Facebook’s Project Aria Is Google Maps — For Your Entire Life (OneZero)

We're like slowly-boiling frogs with this stuff. Everything seems fine. Until it's not.
The company insists any faces and license plates captured by Aria glasses wearers will be anonymized. But that won’t protect the data from Facebook itself. Ostensibly, Facebook will possess a live map of your home, pictures of your loved ones, pictures of any sensitive documents or communications you might be looking at with the glasses on, passwords — literally your entire life. The employees and contractors who have agreed to wear the research glasses are already trusting the company with this data.
Dave Gershgorn, Facebook’s Project Aria Is Google Maps — For Your Entire Life (OneZero)

With Amazon cosying up to police departments in the US with its Ring cameras, we really are hurtling towards surveillance states in the West.
Who has access to see the data from this live 3D map, and what, precisely, constitutes private versus public data? And who makes that determination? Faces might be blurred, but people can be easily identified without their faces. What happens if law enforcement wants to subpoena a day’s worth of Facebook’s LiveMap? Might Facebook ever build a feature to try to, say, automatically detect domestic violence, and if so, what would it do if it detected it?
Dave Gershgorn, Facebook’s Project Aria Is Google Maps — For Your Entire Life (OneZero)

Judges already requisition Fitbit data to solve crimes. No matter what Facebook say are their intentions around Project Aria, this data will end up in the hands of law enforcement, too.

More details on Project Aria:
Until next week!

Doug
Thought Shrapnel Weekly is sent out to awesome people who are curious about intersection of technology and society. It is published by Dr. Doug Belshaw of Dynamic Skillset Ltd.


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Some say he hates November. Others say he's considering resigning as a member. No-one says he doesn't remember.
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