Thursday, July 16, 2009

On the smarter planet and the big brother

An interesting comment to my previous posting on smart cities, said as follows:

Even if I am a big supporter of event based systems, I have a question on this topic. Can you explain me, who is the owner of the event based routing, filtering integration services?

I hope, that you do not think about weather the government, or some industrial companies, cause this would empower them to rule the world.

There need to be a self organizing way like e.g. the Internet, but getting there will be even a larger competition than introducing the web, because of already competing companies in that market segment.

I have written before on the big brother when talking about the previous NY governor whose felling out of power began when a computer program indicated him as suspicious in money laundering. This reminds my of somebody who told me that he is afraid that information is gathered in computerized systems and used for other purposes, that person lived in NY, and moved at some point to live with his girl-friend in New Jersey. He did not want to change his NY address for various reasons (among them not to bother changing his driver licence). He said that he never used EZPASS to pay for toll roads, since somebody could conclude from the fact that he drives every working day in the "garden state parkway" northbound, that he actually lives in NJ.

So the question is -- using all the smarter planet services will have the possibility to gather much information about the individual, who owns this information and what can this information be used to. Governments typically do not own infrastructures, but they have powers to make laws that will compel infrastructure owners to provide information, they do it today. Actually Internet service providers has a potential to know a lot about us. The same goes for events, if we'll have smarter planets, there will be a lot of events about individual person floating around, and if somebody will be able to join events from various sources, this somebody have a potential to know much about us. I guess that here there will be a need to have some legal structure that will prevent infrastructure suppliers as well as governments to abuse this information, like the bank secrecy laws in Switzerland.

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