Current and future law school students who go on to become attorneys will face a large scope of unprecedented legal challenges stemming from a wide array of newly developed –and yet to be developed- technologies.
Socially accepted technology that courses through the Internet providing connectivity and information to users worldwide like e-mail, social networks and search engines are constantly evolving. These Internet technologies iterate with rapid-fire speed and often create disruptions in their mass-appeal among users.
However, Internet companies like Yahoo, Facebook and Google won’t be the only technology targets of social and legal scrutiny in the years to come.
A recent panel discussion presented by the National Press Club at the Law School of Catholic University of America spoke on the issues surrounding newer technologies being developed in the fields of electronic surveillance and personal tracking.
Legal experts on the panel centered their discussion around the framework of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of illegal search and seizure by government forces.
Noting that the current legal doctrine on what constitutes a protected “search” revolves around the idea of reasonably expected privacy, the panelists dove in to a fascinating exploration of present and future conflicts between individuals, governments and companies and their use of GPS and facial recognition technologies.
If you want to know what governments and companies are doing with surveillance and tracking technologies now, and what applications they will likely soon have at their disposal, then watch the full presentation.
A few of the most interesting topics are highlighted below.
- Constitutional protections for individual privacy are virtually non-existent. Only the 4th Amendment takes a stab at defining a citizen’s personal space and property rights.
- These limited constitutional rights are applied exclusively between individuals and governments – Not between individuals and other private parties or businesses.
- “Intrusion upon Privacy” is not only a novel concept, it is a very fickle one. In the U.S. particularly, the notion of individual privacy is fast eroding in the public and consumer arenas.
- Both federal agencies and most members of Congress take an increasingly relaxed view of individual privacy, because…
- Tracking and facial recognition technologies provide them with highly effective, desired results for minimal costs.
- As smart phone use reaches critical mass, more companies will develop more advanced systems to track individual users.
- Already, a few companies are pioneering the development of “Biometric Tracking” technology …
- And governmental agencies are already using it. Biometric tracking is largely developed around Facial Recognition Software.
- Facebook is one such pioneer and user of FRS and Biometric tracking.
The debate continues over how far these technologies will go, where and when they’ll be applied, the frequency and volume of their application, and whether a breaking point will be reached over their legality.