The coming recording arms race

The Speculist discusses the possibility of an arms in ubiquitous recording (hat tip to InstaPundit):

The Futurist Magazine has published its annual Top 10 Forecasts.

I found the first prediction the most interesting: “Everything you say and do will be recorded by 2030.”

I think it would be possible to do this much sooner. Data storage devices are getting smaller (in physical size) and bigger (in storage capacity) all the time. In five years we could see iPod sized devices with the storage capacity to record for days bluetoothed to a tiny camera and mic mounted to eyeglass frames.

Possible, of course, doesn’t mean wide adoption. It will only be widely adopted when it becomes an arms race.

These “Recorders” will be in possession of history. If, for example, there were a disagreement a Recorder could edit a version of the events to favor his point of view. Perhaps he could even add or delete data. Unless the other party were also recording, they’d have no defense against historical revisionism. This is becoming a problem already. Glenn Reynolds argued in the New York Post that political candidates should bring their own cameras to interviews.

Of course this reality is already here in small ways. We assume everything we email is retained by our employer. When we call a support line we are told that the conversation “May be recorded” for “Quality Control Purposes”. Actually this means the conversation will be recorded, and not for your benefit.

Speak into the eyeglasses please.


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