IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - Summer 2014 - 15

Fig. 1. Security by Example: Our government and industry leaders hide their cameras in dark spherical domes so we
can't see which way they're looking. If we were to follow this example that they have set for us, we'd all walk around
with dark globes over our faces so nobody could see whether or not we're staring at them.

washrooms [4], with full support of Privacy Commissioners and Police.
More recently, problems arose during the Sochi
Olympics in russia, in which hastily constructed
hotels featured tap water that was not running clean.
Guests trying to have a shower in their private hotel
rooms were finding dirty brown water coming from
their showers, and thus left it running for a long time
(as is necessary when plumbing is recently renovated),
hoping that the water would eventually run clean.
russia's Deputy Prime minister was quoted as
saying "I have seen video from inside cubicles" [5]
and "We have surveillance video from the hotels that
shows people turn on the shower, direct the nozzle at
the wall and then leave the room for the whole day"
[6]. At issue here are matters of privacy and trust,
where leaving water running to flush out the dirt in
the pipes is seen by the custodians as an act of vandalism that warrants the installation of security cameras
in shower stalls.
Are we free to live a life not "in custody"?
Whereas "security" and surveillance do have valid
use-cases, especially regarding those in custody (children, the elderly, and prisoners), a free adult should be
able to live "outside custody" if and when desired. As
a free adult, I might choose to ride (and be restrained
in) a roller coaster, under the watchful gaze of security staff. But I should also be able to choose activities
that are non-custodial.
The general idea that there is a tradeoff between
privacy and security is itself flawed. resigning
IEEE TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY MAGAZINE

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SuMMEr 2014

ourselves to a life that is completely "in custody" is
living by the exact meaning of the word "security,"
i.e., it is careless ("without care").
As responsible adults, we should care about our
personal health and safety, and take charge of it. One
way we can do this, is by incorporating health and
safety onto and into ourselves, rather than our environment. By this, I mean wearable computing and
personal technologies that function like part of us
rather than part of our environment.
The Personal Safety Device (PSD) is a wearable
computer, sensor, and camera system that monitors
and records our health and wellness and physiological signals, such as our heart's ElectroCardioGram
(ECG), and our brain's ElectroEncephaloGram
(EEG). This wearable computer system thus comprises our most up-to-date medical record - attached
right to our own body [7].
Such a system, when worn by a person who cares
about their own health and safety, might be an opposite to security. The opposite of security (carelessness) is not insecurity (uncarelessness), but, rather, the
opposite to security is "curity" (i.e., caring).
Let me take the liberty of calling the PSD a "suicurity" system, from the Latin "sui curity" meaning
"self-care," i.e., taking a personal interest in matters
of health and safety.

(continued on page 22)
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