It's already too late to stop the ubiquitous tracking and monitoring of the public through biometrics, says Peter Waggett, Programme Leader at IBM's Emerging Technology Group. We need to stop worrying about prevention, and start working out how to make the most of data garnered from that kind of surveillance.
"We're fighting the wrong battle when we ask should we stop people being observed. That is not going to be feasible. We need to understand how to use that data better," urged Waggett, who was speaking as part of a Nesta panel debate on what biometrics mean for the future of privacy.
"I've been working in biometrics for 20 years, and it's reaching a tipping point where it's going to be impossible not to understand where people are and what they are doing. Everything will be monitored. It's part of the reason why when we put together the definition of biometrics it included biological and behavioural characteristics -- it can be anything."