Garbage Cans that Spy on You
From The Guardian:
Though he foresaw many ways in which Big Brother might watch us, even George Orwell never imagined that the authorities would keep a keen eye on your bin.
Residents of Croydon, south London, have been told that the microchips being inserted into their new wheely bins may well be adapted so that the council can judge whether they are producing too much rubbish.
I call this kind of thing "embedded government": hardware and/or software technology put inside of a device to make sure that we conform to the law.
And there are security risks.
If, for example, computer hackers broke in to the system, they could see sudden reductions in waste in specific households, suggesting the owners were on holiday and the house vacant.
To me, this is just another example of those implementing policy not being the ones who bear the costs. How long would the policy last if it were made clear to those implementing it that they would be held personally liable, even if only via their departmental budgets or careers, for any losses to residents if the database did get hacked?
Posted on March 4, 2005 at 10:32 AM • 20 Comments