- Ian J. LloydIan J. LloydFormerly Senior Specialist, HSU, National Research University, Russian Federation and Visiting Professor, Open University of Tanzania
The topic of privacy has many aspects. In some instances, especially where well-known figures are involved, it relates to the legal ability to stop the bringing of information about their private lives into a more public arena. For most people, it involves the ability to go about everyday life without having details of movements and actions recorded and analysed to form the basis for further actions relating to them. In some cases, this may appear relatively harmless. Most people are familiar with the notion of web advertising targeted by reference to a user’s browsing history but there have been more potentially threatening applications ranging from the use of automated facial recognition systems to monitor activity in public spaces to the oft cited use of Facebook data for political purposes as seen in the 2016 US Presidential election. More and more actions are recorded, processed and used as the basis for action that affects the individual concerned. Whether this is a force for good or ill is something that can be debated. What is clear is that informational surveillance will impact very significantly upon debates as to the nature of the societies that we wish to live in.