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The global population of sensors is growing and becoming networked. They range from everyday devices as cameras, microphones, and motion detectors, to electronic RFID readers. Outdoor versions can monitor the environment and detect biological or chemical agents.

Internal sensors can continuously read health indicators for at-risk patients. Networking reduces the costs of monitoring and harvesting information from devices, especially those far away or embedded in something else. It permits data to be analyzed as they are collected.

For this one must thank the declining cost of the devices economics, increases in the sensitivity of engineered materials, and the coming of microelectromechanical (MEMs) devices (such as those used in air bags). Coupling sensors with large databases may allow authorities to recognize people they have never met when they are encountered in public places. Football fans with tickets to the 2001 Super Bowl in Tampa had their faces scanned by systems that tried (and mostly failed) to match their facial attributes to a database of known criminals and troublemakers.

6 Added to that are several emerging sources of location data for people or at least their devices. At least one car rental company has put transponders on its rental cars to determine which were being driven in excess of 75 miles an hour.7 Cell phones periodically chirp to tell cells where they are.

When cells shrink (for example, by going to the smaller Sprint PCS cells), locations determined by triangulating from signal strength at each cell have that much less error. U.S.

cell phones are further evolving into GPS devices so that the source of enhanced 911 (E911) calls can be determined to within 20 meters. The RFID-based proximity card is rapidly becoming. The ef cacy of the facial recognition system was admittedly low (see John D. Woodward, Super Bowl Surveillance: Facing Up to Biometrics, Santa Monica [RAND], 2001). Face recognition works best among small groups or when there is some a priori reason to believe that someone speci c may be in front of the camera.

There may be limits to how far technology can improve; the human face, as measured in two dimensions, may be insuf ciently stable and unique (in other words, two faces at certain times can look too similar to be distinguished). See Robert Lemos, Rental-Car Firm Exceeding the Privacy Limit http:// news.com.

com/2100-1040-268747.html, June 20, 2001. Incidentally, Acme Rent-a-Car lost a court case where the legality of the practice was challenged.

. Retail Conquest in Cyberspace standard in an y institutional environment where physical security is a concern.8 Although such cards are generally used to determine whether someone can enter a facility, such data can and often are centrally collected.9 RFID-based electronic bar-coding10 appended to merchandise will let it reply, transponderlike, to broadcast queries, thereby revealing its location.

11 Initially only expensive goods and packages would receive such treatment; as costs drop, the bar codes can be af xed to razor blades and such.12 Where boxes lead, humans may be dragged into following. People in institutional settings such as hospitals are still poorly tracked, particularly when transferred from one institution to another.

Such people may one day be effectively bar-coded for electronic tracking. Indeed it is becoming far less expensive to monitor the vital signs of patients, keep them at home, and respond to emergencies than it is to hospitalize them13 and electronics is getting cheaper and less power-hungry while networks, especially RF networks, are becoming more ubiquitous..

8.3 Surveillance in Cyberspace Personal data are also being collected directly through cyberspace. The rise of Web sur ng has meant an enormous increase in information on what people look at, when they look at it, and how long they spend. 10 11. As Exxon s Fas tpass suggests, proximity devices can be used in lieu of credit cards to record purchases. See Edward Balkovich, Tora K. Bikson, and Gordon Bitko, 9 to 5: Do You Know If Your Boss Knows Where You Are : Case Studies of Radio Frequency Identi cation Usage in the Workplace, TR-197, Santa Monica (RAND), 2005.

For a fuller treatment of the issue, see Simon Gar nkel and Beth Rosenberg, ed., RFI: Applications, Security, and Privacy, Upper Saddle River (Addison-Wesley), 2005. Winston Chai, Radio ID Chips May Track Banknotes, http://news.

com.com/21001017-1009155.html, May 22, 2003, referring to a reported deal between the European Central Bank and Hitachi.

The ability to exchange data with satellites requires fancier electronics and more battery power than the ability to do so within, say, a warehouse. The use of satellites may thus be merited only for vehicles, whereas the lesser technology may be applied to boxes in a warehouse. One hospital chain located in Virginia s Tidewater, Sentara Healthcare, already uses electronic monitoring to keep a constant track of intensive care unit (ICU) patients; see David Brown, Intensive Care, from a Distance, Washington Post, 125, 179, June 2, 2002, p.

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