Face Computers: Privacy Violation by Pupil Dilation?
Smartwatches, holograms, self-driving vehicles — we may have just rung in the year 2022, but here on Earth, we’ve started to live (blindly) like the Jetsons in 2062. The latest technological advancement coming out of Orbit City, err, Silicon Valley is the face computer, wearable tech that will plunge users into the notorious “metaverse.”
Just saying the word metaverse makes me throw up a little in my mouth. Though similar technology has been in the works for quite some time, rumor has it that Apple may be launching an augmented reality headset (face computer) sometime soon. And where Apple goes, hundreds of millions of followers go. I am one of them. So, what does this mean for you and me?
Is it time to embrace the next gen digital lifestyle à la the Jetsons? Well, you might want to pause before strapping into a newfound face supercomputer and diving headfirst into the metaverse. Here’s what the rise of face computers may mean for your privacy, and how we should begin to implement boundaries that protect both our data and our security… before it’s too late.
Pitfalls of Not Prioritizing Privacy
As a society, we often become distracted by all of the fancy bells and whistles advertised by emerging technology and software programs. We watch a two-minute highlight reel of the ‘latest thing,’ whether it’s a new smartphone or social media network, and hop right in — reserving the hard-hitting questions for later.
Historically, that’s never worked out well. When we embrace new technology first and lay the ground rules for it second, we essentially open ourselves to inherent privacy risks. Don’t believe me? Think about Facebook and Instagram, which are both continuously under fire for predatory practices surrounding user data, yet 1.93 billion people use the platforms every day regardless.
When privacy and security concerns take a backseat, the decisions surrounding new technology are ultimately driven by the technology companies themselves — much like we see with Meta, the Facebook parent company. Even when we do engage with the company, like by deactivating our accounts or signing public petitions, we don’t engage with the same robust financial backing of the organization, and consequently the deep pockets of Big Tech completely drown out our voice.
Want the government to step in? Well, Congress has passed a few cybersecurity bills; however, the majority focus on emerging malware risks and other data breaches helmed by cybercriminals… not face computers. And as we can see with the media frenzy surrounding the Facebook whistleblower trial, Congress is not currently in a place where they will legislate in a bipartisan way on solutions.
Potential Implications of a Face Computer
So, what is the worst thing that could happen if we all strapped into a new face supercomputer with little to no restrictions? Picture it as having an Alexa device that doesn’t just listen to your every conversation, but also tracks your autonomic responses, like pupil dilation, respiratory rate and pulse. Then, your device sells that data to the third-party highest bidder for incredibly targeted advertising, which is then inevitably breached by Russian or Chinese state-sponsored hackers who are paid to gather every detail about every American they can.
Does your heart rate speed up when you look at the Tesla website? They’ve learned what’s on your gift wishlist. Does your favorite politician make your pupils dilate? Get ready for an onslaught of political advertisements. From a privacy and security lens, these face supercomputers operate more like a biometric movie like the Matrix than they do a helpful media device.
Prepare for Marketing in the Metaverse
Face computers are poised to be the entryway into the highly prophesied metaverse. A metaverse is a fully-functioning virtual universe that allows real users to create, sell, own, and invest using personalized digital avatars. These virtual universes are always active and adhere to real-world timing, so the more users are involved, the more the metaverse will expand and evolve.
If you have a child or are partial to ‘sandbox style’ games, like Grand Theft Auto or Roblox, you’re already familiar with a type of metaverse. As virtual and augmented reality technologies become more popular, metaverses are penetrating the internet, with the folks at Meta predicting that the worldwide web will eventually transition into the ‘worldwide metaverse.’
As you could predict, advertisers are already hard at work infiltrating various metaverses. For instance, Bidstack, a video game ad tech company, has begun placing company ads on virtual billboards across games like Roblox and Fortnite. Even navigation platforms like Waze have gotten in on the action, delivering ads for brick-and-mortar businesses based on the route a driver takes.
How to Prepare Now, So We Don’t Suffer Later
None of the above information is meant to intimidate you. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. In the cybersecurity industry, knowledge is power. The more we know and prepare for the introduction of face computers, the more we can implement ground rules that protect our right to privacy. I’m not in any way categorically rejecting the advent of face computers; I’m saying that we need to put limits on how our personal biometric data is collected, analyzed and sold.
We should not delay educating ourselves and others about the potential impacts of this technology. Here’s how we can prepare for face supercomputers on an individual, company, and societal level.
1. Start with Background Education
Threat trends are consistently evolving. From ransomware to the Internet of Things, most people are unaware of how privacy and security concerns shift with each type of technology introduced. When it comes to the latest data security threats, you can’t possibly do everything — but you must do the right things, starting with self-education.
Consider educating your people with a cybersecurity crash course that provides a high-level, non-technical path through the complicated web of technological threats, human decision-making, network security, cloud computing, and more. The right cybersecurity keynote speaker for your event can help navigate emerging mobile technology with strategies grounded in fact, so you can feel more in control moving forward.
2. Impose Company-Wide Policy
Though face computers aren’t necessarily ‘workplace technology,’ it’s not a stretch to assume that these devices will soon make their way to boardrooms and break rooms alike. Mark Zuckerberg has already introduced the idea of virtual team meetings on the metaverse, and with remote work still going strong, a face supercomputer can help bridge the gap between dispersed teams.
However, as we learned with the recent shift to remote work, thousands of employees on one remote server can spell disaster for many organizations — and dozens of employees all using face computers to dive into the metaverse can provide a backdoor for cybercriminals. Now is the time to implement a company-wide policy for these types of technologies; start by Bulletproofing Your Business Against Breach with a cybersecurity keynote speaker who has experienced the devastation of cybercrime.
3. Make Your Powerful Voice Heard
Much like we can’t stop the current technological evolution, we cannot prevent the introduction of face computer technology. In truth, that might be a good thing — there are dozens of incredibly valuable uses for this technology that range from public health to even climate control. However, we should encourage societal input to implement boundaries for our privacy.
Now is the time to remember how much power we as consumers truly have. Society plays a massive role in the political power held by tech giants. We can help shape the media and other politically-relevant information that surrounds emerging technologies by continuing to educate ourselves and speaking amongst others to ensure consumers understand the full concept of face computers and not just the bells and whistles.
Seek Peace of Mind with a Cybersecurity Keynote Speaker
If all of this talk about supercomputers and virtual universes makes you feel like you’re living in a Matrix movie, you’re definitely not alone. Though we might not be ‘Jetson level’ futuristic, our society is slowly (but surely) getting there. To ease this latest technological transition, reach out to a trusted cybersecurity keynote speaker for peace of mind and protection.
For nearly two decades, I have spoken to organizations including the Pentagon, Homeland Security, Pfizer, Charles Schwab, Visa, and the Federal Reserve Bank about how to safeguard their organizations from cybercrime. If you want to gear up for the latest evolution of smart headgear, contact The Sileo Group today to schedule your next cybersecurity keynote.