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Future Technology

Date: 05-01-05
Host: Art Bell
Guests: Peter Cochrane

Co-founder of ConceptLabs, Peter Cochrane, shared a glimpse of upcoming technology which will offer us greater security and convenience but may also hamper our privacy rights. RFID (radio frequency) tags which are now being added to consumer products may also be used in conjunction with container vessels entering the US. The technology could be used to detect if a container had been broken into and what was taken, and then to potentially track stolen items. To combat privacy concerns for the consumer, Cochrane said removable RFID tags on purchased items could become the new standard.

Cell phones, he explained, will begin offering increased abilities for tracking and surveillance. For instance, he said there is a service in Great Britain that allows parents to track the whereabouts of their children at all times via their cell phone. Another development on the horizon will be adding a kind of "black box" (similar to what's used in airplanes) into automotive vehicles. The cars would be equipped with numerous cameras, and this technology would be useful in determining what happened in an accident. A technology also being considered would allow law enforcement to electronically disable a car, during a high speed chase, for example.

Cochrane suggested that a balance needs to be achieved in protecting the security of citizens, and not infringing on their privacy rights, but in some respects, one is a trade off for the other.

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