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Privacy is a privilege that most people take for granted, it’s simply thought of as a sort of God-given right that we, as human beings, are entitled to, the right to have our own space, to be safe, and to be left alone. As technology advances at an alarming rate people began to worry about what adverse effects these new technologies will have on them. Are their concerns justified or just wrought from a fear of change?
David Brin’s vision of city life in the near future is almost one of complete paranoia and exaggeration. The cities he outlines seem too horrible to be real, from some sci-fi movie, a city on a far off planet ruled by an evil dictator. An existence without privacy is scary to think about, always looking over our shoulders wondering who is watching and why. Brin’s theories of the future, some will argue, may not be too far off the mark, but is it realistic to think that on this vast planet we inhabit, all cities, towns, and populous areas will be under the watchful eye of the men upstairs, of course not.
In the future we will have to deal with surveillance and privacy rights, there is no question, but not to the extent that Brin suggests. Technology will be instituted all over the world as an ally in crime prevention, taking the form of, cameras, microphones, satellites, and unfathomable high-tech tracking systems and devices. We are seeing the beginning of this already, but Brin takes the implementation of these technologies to extremes, which are incredibly unlikely scenarios for our own future. With so many cities and so many buildings in the U.S. alone, it’s silly to assume that everyone will have access to the happenings everywhere all at once. Some cameras positioned on street lamps in downtown New York with citizens safety in mind is one thing, but to have camera like devices capable of being everywhere and seeing everything isn’t likely ever and certainly not within the next 10 to 20 years.
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