Privacy versus new AR market? The Google StreetView case

Google Street View data gathering and AI Algorithm processing for augmented services - privacy versus new AR market?

Who knows what and whom? nothing is really private

The ability to work out information on a person indirectly is not difficult with the level of digital information available about your transactions, search and web sites, GPS location, and movements. Even though anonymity could be in place; consider a scenario of a person visiting a school in the morning and afternoon and purchasing children’s clothes or clothes shop may imply a parent and a mother. While nothing illegal may be done here it also raises ethical questions about the appropriate use and personal privacy.

It has been shown in research for some time that Potentially greater than 90% accuracy of identifying individual’s identity can be achieved, calculated from as little as 4 or 6 pieces of data that may have been gathered independently from different sources.

Academic research calls it “ambient awareness”” and “knowledge acquisition” using social media and other public or private data to work out “who knows what and whom”. This has shown very high accuracy rates of using technology to make visibility of location, social connections, your history of activities right down to your focus of attention and preferences.

The Google use of street view image data to drive artificial intelligence algorithms to offer “help” in locations is a good example of the huge new market for companies such as google, amazon, and Facebook who collect vast amounts of data.

Insurance companies and marketers have been doing this for years trying to work out the risks and opportunities of products and locations and profiling people.

This is a huge market for augmented reality AR where AI algorithms will increasingly be used to analyze images, vice, locational GPS data down to your face, health status from your wearables to many other sources of data about you and the locations you visit both physically and online.

Think of this as smart digital maps or smart objects that are able to “talk” to you or provide micro-locational services by the integration of this data with AI from the likes of google or built into your phone or the appliances you use.

There needs to be message transparency

The implications are that some rules and legislation that require opt in or out permission to protect privacy are in place may need to extend to a new area where AI is providing “inferenced” data services.

This can have many benefits of location aware services but it needs controls if companies start using this to “match” people with their personal data or medical information based on inferences start to introduce judgment bias and commercial or ethical misuse.

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