Personhood– do we lose a bit of dignity when our thoughts, words, actions, behaviours, mistakes and hopes can be accessed by unknown entities and used to communicate with us? Does it make us a product and not a person? Orwell’s 1984 used to give us the shivers but now we barely bat an eye at being monitored through CCTV, mobile and the Web. And while we now have some respite from being monitored offline in our homes even that is becoming an opportunity for data collection. Recently it was announced that Dropcam had been purchased by Google’s Nest subsidiary, Dropcam sells in-home video monitoring with cameras having capabilities for night-vision, motion and sound sensing. Nest has now revealed that they will begin sharing data with Google despite promises previously that it would protect personal data. What would Orwell have made of this?
Managing my personal data makes me more comfortable with my feelings of personhood because I have some control – it just gives me that feeling of ‘win-win’ with organisations that I choose to share it with.