Photo by — @introspectivedsgn

License to Scan

Who has the right to scan you?

Who has the right to scan you? Scanning technologies whether it is face recognition or otherwise is becoming widespread. You can register a lot of information with different private companies. This article is a short reflection on scanning technology and the use of artificial intelligence.

This title is a play on ‘License to Kill’.

“A License to kill is a license granted by a government or government agency to a particular operative or employee to initiate the use of lethal force in the delivery of their objectives.”

However in my head this was more of a reference to an old James Bond movie.

Timothy Dalton as an actor did perhaps one of the worst portrayals of James Bond, but the title was catchy!

It was not exactly the best one in the series of films.

However with the spread of the Coronavirus it is becoming an increasing question of who has the right to access to or scan your data.

Google have been trying to find fun ways to do this, but then again they have so much data — and have found novel ways to get this for a long time.

Real-time AI self-expression from the Google AI Blog back in March 2019

Wouldn’t you want a nice Noogle hat? That’s fun.

A map — Google will help you find the place.

Entertainment — Youtube has most you need.

In a way I do not want to believe that Google has been trying to make you scan your face to justify saving this data about your face…

Then again they are Google, one of the largest technology companies in the world and they know how to make money.

There’s no point in going into conspiracies — large technology companies have been found to save various data and then telling you later.

Facebook tracking all personal messages on their platform to use for various purposes was a revelation to many.

From private to state

With the Coronavirus there are many states who have now decided that they will be looking closer and attempting to understand patterns of disease spreading. There has been enough mentions that these powers can be used for other purposes, so I do not have to repeat it. Rather consider what difference this does make.

When it comes to your data we can think that private companies know more about you than the state — and in many cases we would be right (depending on where you are).

Does a state can in many cases have a higher certainty around the data that they keep on you?

If a state has your identity and your address etc.

Do they know you better?

On the Internet nobody knows you’re a dog.

It is the classic cartoon spread around.

The Internet seemed to hold a lot of promise for anonymity.

Has this promise eroded over the years? We have VPNs, blockchain and advanced encryption. Perhaps it was as much a question of who knows what when as it is now. After all the Internet was partly possible due defence initiatives in the US.

Does nobody know you are a dog in a given state?

As in can the state identify you better than private companies across the Internet?

With payment information, home address, geolocation, listening (in homes) and so on — they know you are a dog.

Does the state know? Many state departments are separated and do not share information between either because they have been unable to or there has been a justification not to do so.

I went a bit far with the dog metaphor.

We can scan our faces and see what the answer will be.

Not that I know.

Yet it is important to consider now how information is shifting and who has the license to scan.

This is #500daysofAI and you are reading article 327. I am writing one new article about or related to artificial intelligence every day for 500 days. My focus for day 300–400 is about AI, hardware and the climate crisis.

AI Policy and Ethics at www.nora.ai. Student at University of Copenhagen MSc in Social Data Science. All views are my own. twitter.com/AlexMoltzau

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