It seems as if there is a world of emerging technologies that bring with them much innovation, use, and room for ethical problems. As amazing as these technologies are, they raise much concern. Technologies like AI, for example, are in discussion. Since there is still room for development, much concern is hypothetical. Something like Google Maps that already exists draws some controversy. I remember when I was first able to see my house from Google Maps. I was a little disturbed, but I also figured that I wasn’t that important where anyone would care to google my address in hopes that there would be a blurred out picture of me.
In this article, ‘Real-time satellite surveillance video’ takes this Google Maps on a whole other level. Instead of having images on Google Maps that are 1-3 years old, it would instead have real video capability. This is possible by two companies that Google Acquired. The article talks about two companies launching satellites into space that capture very close to the real-time footage. Such companies would be able to sell their videos to companies, the government, or wealthy clients.
I can only imagine how a person worth stalking would be very paranoid. Even though I don’t think I’m worth being crept up on by some wealthy customer to these companies, I still am concerned about the use of this data. I can see the good it can bring in reducing crime, and these days, terrorist attacks. I can also, however, see this data misused by a mal-intended government. If a wealthy nation gets their hands on this data and applied military strategy intelligence to the multimedia data, they would have a huge advantage over them.
I would also be concerned that mal-intended people would get their hands on this data. There has been a lot of awareness of human trafficking lately, so I can’t help but think of an awful use case. If a dollar amount is all one needs to have access to the data, I don’t trust that enough screening would happen. A serious clearance check needs to happen before anyone gets their hands on this data to avoid people like human traffic organizers use this.
As much as it could lessen crime, it can easily heighten it too, especially if these satellites are becoming easier to build, launch, and maintain. The more people that can not even buy the data, but even put their rocket into space, the easier it will be to facilitate crime. Even though I don’t think I would be a victim of something like this (but maybe I’m being naive), I still do not like the idea of firstly selling the data to anyone without a serious clearance, and secondly, I don’t think anyone can just launch a satellite into space to record people without their concent.