New Technologies Pose Threats and Opportunities to Privacy, Security, Law Enforcement, Military
Biometric surveillance networks are systems that can gather information on individuals’ unique characteristics, such as their face or fingerprint. Such systems may threaten the privacy or safety of individuals or disrupt human intelligence-gathering operations if they are fully implemented and integrated into society.
A biometric surveillance system records a person’s physical or behavioral characteristics. It is seen as an easier and more accurate way to recognize people in a crowd. Biometric surveillance systems can be used to track military or intelligence operatives from other countries, and China is one of the largest exporters of these systems.
China’s “Social Credit System,” for example, which is still in development but already being implemented by private companies, could be used to create new forms of national governance. Biometric technologies use unique biological or behavioral attributes to authenticate someone’s identity. They also use Artificial Intelligence and Big Data analytics and they will likely hold growing implications for Congress, civil liberties, and the future of war.
As part of its social management plan, the Xinjiang government announced that it would equip police officers with mobile biometric devices for use in local businesses and residents’ homes, as well as for scanning students during school hours before the beginning of the school day. The Xinjiang government has also established a system that uses biometric data to promote the socioeconomic progress of local residents. Other reports indicate that the Xinjiang government has begun to apply a combination of surveillance technologies, including facial recognition devices and DNA collection, in addition to existing AI systems.
What are Lethal autonomous weapons?
Lethal autonomous weapons are weapons that can select and engage targets without the need for manual human control or remote operation. This technology could potentially have a database containing the biometric identifiers of pre-approved human targets. The weapons would then be able to use the database to locate, select, and engage human targets in communication-degraded or denied environments.
The United States is not currently developing LAWS, but there is no ban. Countries such as China and Russia are developing these types of systems.
The future of biometric technologies could potentially involve AI systems capable of identifying individuals in low-light or otherwise obscured conditions at longer distances. These techniques could be used without current knowledge or consent. This is an advancement for security, law enforcement, and the military by taking away much of the human error involved when identifying someone in these situations.
Combining Biometric surveillance networks and Lethal autonomous weapons.
Combining these two technologies could be an issue if the information were to fall into the wrong hands. This would allow any individual or hostile group access to this information and is a threat to national security. Fortunately, the capability of these technologies is not widely available.
How this affects us?
With advancements in technology, there will always be a discussion on how to use it and for what. The question is whether the benefits outweigh the potential risks involved. In this case, biometric surveillance networks have many potential benefits and pose minimal risks. Lethal autonomous weapons have the potential to become extremely powerful and pose a threat to national security. If these technologies were combined the consequences could be devastating.
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Thank you for reading, and be sure to check out our other blog posts for more information on subject such as – Military Intelligence: What You Need to Know, HUMINT side of Military Intelligence (MI), and The Homefront: Are We on Track to Being the Next Chinese Surveillance State?
Photo By: The Intercept; THE TALIBAN HAVE SEIZED U.S. MILITARY BIOMETRICS DEVICES