by STAN CIAPALA
What if the front facing camera on your phone streamed video of your face to a surveillance agency or a marketing agency while you read material found on social media? This may not be too far out of the realm of possibility, especially when you grant permission to apps like Facebook when they explicitly ask to use the cameras and microphones on your phone. For a moment, let’s operate under the assumption that this is so and learn what it could mean for us.
There used to be a show on FX called Lie to Me, that followed fictitious federal agents who intuitively knew when people were lying or telling the truth and how they felt about a topic in conversation by subconsciously recognizing micro-expressions on peoples’ faces based on their emotional state.
According to the FBI’s website, researchers, who undertook a lie detection study, “monitor[ed] their participants with sensors that record and analyze their facial behaviors, gestures, body movements, voice and speech characteristics, physiological indicators (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure, skin conductance, respiration), heat emanation from their faces and heads, pupil dilation, and gaze direction.” This could lead to a type of marketing used to influence the masses through data mining our emotions.
Data mining, the accruement of personal data, is one of the world’s fastest growing markets.
According to Forbes, “Wikibon forecasts the Big Data market will grow at an astounding compound annual growth rate of 58 percent between now and 2017, hitting the $50 billion [mark] within five years.” The collection and sale of data is how so many apps manage to stay free and continue to be profitable.
If the front-facing camera on your phone is on as you scroll through your timeline, could it be that a comprehensive profile is being collected, traded, and sold amongst the government and big business that reflects how you feel, why you feel that way and how you will respond to certain material and products? Perhaps an individual’s or a group’s potential response may be recognized before either determines consciously to commit that action.