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CTDL 143: She’s inside my MIND!!!

I probably found this via boing boing (I find a lot of links there, and this looks right up the boing boing alley), but only have the actual article in front of me. Fascinating look at technologies that give others a peek behind the curtain of our mind.

We think of our brains as the ultimate private sanctuary, a zone where other people can’t intrude without our knowledge or permission. But its boundaries are gradually eroding. Hypersonic sound is just a portent of what’s coming, one of a host of emerging technologies aimed at tapping into our heads. These tools raise a fascinating, and queasy, new ethical question: Do we have a right to “mental privacy”?

“We’re going to be facing this question more and more, and nobody is really ready for it,” says Paul Root Wolpe, a bioethicist and board member of the nonprofit Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics. “If the skull is not an absolute domain of privacy, there are no privacy domains left.” He argues that the big personal liberty issues of the 21st century will all be in our heads — the “civil rights of the mind,” he calls it.

The good news is that scholars are holding conferences to hash out legal positions. But we’ll need a broad public debate about it, too. Civil liberties thrive only when the public demands them — and understands they’re at risk. That means we need to stop seeing this stuff as science fiction and start thinking about how we’ll react to it. Otherwise, we could all lose our minds.

[From Clive Thompson on Why the Next Civil Rights Battle Will Be Over the Mind ]

This is one of those technologies that I almost have a hard time finding non-nefarious uses for outside of the research/medical sector. Though law-enforcement could use this to help them, the level of abuse this would invite is nearly off the charts. This is a “minority report” waiting to happen. This is a set of technologies that will open up further the debate on how much privacy and liberty are “we” willing to give up for security? and even if “we” are willing to give it up… should we?


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