Imagine if a tiny device was implanted in every human at birth that reported its identity and location to a central network. How could criminals get away with crime if we knew who was near anyone when they were assaulted, kidnapped, raped or murdered? If you wanted to snuff out your mortal enemy you’d have to wait until many people were near your victim and then hope to prove it wasn’t you, or kill at a distance. Such a device would aid law enforcement to solve most crimes, probably deter most criminals, and make mystery novels very hard to write. It would also make it hard to rob banks, burglarize houses, commit arson, steal cars, etc.
And what if everyone also had an embedded device, like a tiny third eye, that videotaped everything they did – so we’d have almost perfect evidence of people’s actions and who was doing what to them. All crime would have to be committed by drones and robots. Any science fiction writers reading this? Here’s a free idea for a futuristic whodunit.
I’m not sure if we’d ever accept such technology. We abhor crime, but crave privacy. Yet, as more people fear crime, it pushes them to embrace more technology to fight crime. The gun has always been the great equalizer, allowing the meek to fight the mighty. Surveillance cameras now spy on the sneaky. Alarm systems warn us of home invasions. We’re constantly applying technology to solving crime. Would people vote for universal system of identity and location? I’m sure parents would consider it essential to track their kids – probably there’s nothing more gut wrenching than missing children. But would you give up your privacy to deter violent crime?
I’m sure we could come up with controls so adults could still sneak around on their spouses, and kids could have some freedom to do things without their parents knowing. We could make laws so the device couldn’t be used unless their was a crime. I think many people would love such technology, but I can’t help feeling that it would terrorize a large segment of the population. It smacks too much of Big Brother and 666.
JWH – 9/19/14