Companies such as AdSense, and even Google, have developed
programs that use surveillance related measures to compile data
for use in “interest based advertising,” also known as
“behavioral targeting.” These systems collect extensive personal
data based on your internet usage or electronic transactions for
marketing purposes, often times without the user understanding
that their computer settings allow this to occur. With these
massive databases full of information, what measures, if any,
should be taken to protect the public from unwanted or deceitful
exploitation of this information, from either private or public
(PYS) Shall private companies that develop increasingly invasive surveillance procedures be allowed to accept government subsidies in exchange for their agreement to allow government agencies to access data accumulated by the product? Will the acceptance of such funds from the government be a violation of the Fourth Amendment’s right of the people to be secure in their persons, homes, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures?
Currently a restraining order may be granted not only to prevent
physical abuse, but also to prevent verbal abuse, stalking, and
other threatening behaviors. Will restraining orders cover small
cameras used to track every movement by the victim as a form of
stalking and harassment, or will they be allowed because the
victim no longer has the expectation of privacy?
(PYS) Would a future significant loss of privacy
have a "chilling effect" on speech? Would the anticipation of a
"chilling effect on speech" make for a good legal argument to
maintain a high standard of privacy?
On the basis for national security, how far can the government
go in using satellite surveillance technology to secretly track
and map the movements of every individual who pose a security
threat to the government with potential Fourth and Fifth
Amendment issues? (reference "Enemy of the State").
(PYS) The FCC has deemed the use of radar jammers illegal, as they interfere with the doppler shift that occurs from the reflected radar beam that police RADAR guns require to obtain a vehicle’s speed. If in the future manufacturers make products that act as signal jammers on video surveillance devices or manufacture cell phones and other products with ways to prevent GPS tracking, will the FCC consider such devices as "malicious interference," thus making them illegal? Additionally, will such devices that merely provided the public with a reasonable attempt of maintaining their privacy be legal?
(PYS) It seems that total transparency would make
the a jury almost useless since factual issues could easily be
verified by video (assuming no fraud of the evidence). What
impact will this have on the role of court and on the structure
of our Constitution in general.
(DF) What rules of international law would serve to protect privacy online? What rules could be used to prevent online privacy, anonymity, etcetera.(PYS) Brin suggests a transparent society will lead to less crime, since the violators will immediately be caught. Assuming criminals can figure out a way to protect their identity, will an open society cause MORE crime, since the criminals will know where any person is at any particular time? How will the law change to deal with this situation?
(PYS): Under common law, defamation requires only that false information, capable of having a defamatory meaning, be "published" to even a single third-party, in a negligent or intentional manner. In a "transparent society" (i.e., one where there is ubiquitous monitoring of actions and words):
• Does the transmission of monitored speech through the distribution network constitute "publication", since such transmission makes the information available to third-parties?
• Does the transmission have to be actually observed (seen or heard) by a third-party to constitute publication?
• Does the third-party have to be human? Consider the purpose of the requirement: in order for there to be any "harm", some third-party must have heard/seen the defamation and changed their position in reliance on it, to the detriment of the defamed party. A computer monitor may indeed "change its position" (i.e., store defamatory information in its database), to the detriment of the defamed party (the database now contains false, defamatory information, available to others).
• Does defamatory information communicated and made available through a global network invariably constitute libel (rather than slander), as virtually all information is available to a wide audience? Does (the less onerous) slander law disappear altogether?
Legal research from Ryan McCarthy
Table of contents page
My Home Page