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Foresight Activities > Foresight Conferences > The 1st Adv. Nanotech. Conf. > Abstracts

Preserving Privacy as Nanosurveillance Arrives

Brad Templeton*

Electronic Frontier Foundation
San Francisco, CA 94110-1914 USA

This is an abstract for a presentation given at the
1st Conference on Advanced Nanotechnology:
Research, Applications, and Policy


Nanotechnology provides a toolbox for the creation of ubiquitous, cheap and extremely small sensor networks and surveillance devices. Indeed, some have even suggested that the use of such tools for global surveillance is necessary to detect and prevent dangerous misuse of nanotechnology and weapons technologies.

As a lead-in to a debate on these topics, the value of privacy to a free society will be explored, along with the foundations and reasons for privacy zealotry. Can such surveillance be stopped or limited? Is it a good idea that should be encouraged? What tools could we use to limit it?

Can nanosystems also enhance privacy, and if so, should they? What would the loss of privacy mean for shy, introverted people and radical out-of-the-mainstream thinkers and tinkerers? Can social norms be generated to protect privacy as they have in the past.

Some of these questions will remain unanswered.

*Corresponding Address:
Brad Templeton
Electronic Frontier Foundation
54 Shotwell Street, San Francisco, CA 94110-1914 USA
Phone: +1 415 436 9333 Fax: +1 415 436 9993

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