Forget Security Cameras — Worry About The Remote Lie Detector Scan

from the seems-a-bit...-invasive? dept

If you thought things like security cameras everywhere was a violation to your right to privacy just wait until you hear what the Department of Defense is cooking up next. The DoD has put out a proposal for a Remote Personnel Assessment (RPA) device, which appears to basically be a system using “microwave or laser beams reflected off a subject’s skin to assess various physiological parameters without the need for wires or skin contacts.” While the main purpose will let them monitor heart and respiratory issues for people on the go, it also returns the same info found in a standard polygraph test — meaning that some are afraid this will become a hidden, remote lie detector system. Since polygraph machines already raise some questions about constitutionality, expect this system to raise even more questions. Of course, a polygraph test doesn’t just work based on that info. It’s a combination of those physiological responses and certain questions being asked of you. So, unless someone comes up to you and starts randomly asking questions, it’s unlikely to be all that effective. However, it certainly does raise questions about how technology impacts privacy issues. People who are caught on security cameras are in public spaces — so it’s reasonable to think that they have no real expectation of privacy in terms of being seen. However, even in a public space you probably don’t expect someone to be measuring your pulse…

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Comments on “Forget Security Cameras — Worry About The Remote Lie Detector Scan”

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George Jetson (user link) says:

Re: I want (need) my M-TV.

if only people know the difference between “NEED” and “WANT”, accurate lie detectors would be much more useful. ie; “It’s been a rough week at work, ‘I need a beer‘ VS ‘I want a beer‘”.

And who care if you lied on your taxes… especially since the the govt wont be using such technology – or will they? (or ARE they?)


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: I want (need) my M-TV.

you’re a fucking moron. yet another person that thinks his version of semantics is the right one.
it’s all about how you define your needs, it’s not an absolute.
if you talk about the things you need to survive then it’s food, water and shelter from harsh weather.
if you talk about being happy then yes some people need a beer or need MTV.
if you want to be absolute, we don’t need anything. we don’t need to live, we want to (most of us).
now fuck off and try being smart somewhere else you asshat…

PLogo says:

Re: Lie Detectors

“I am sure of one thing in my life. If I have nothing to hide, then whats to hide. I would assume that only liars would have to worry about a lie detectors, so if you are a happy honest person you would have nothing to fear”

Riiight… you should read Brave New World and 1984. You probably also think only the terrorists have to fear the Patriot Act and unwarranted wiretaps. I think Adolf would love to hear from you.

“If we don’t put lie detectors everywhere, then the liars have already won…” -Joseph

Eric Allen says:

Re: Re: Lie Detectors

Probable cause my arse where have you been. You obviously missed the patriot act which lowered the need for probable cause to reasonable suspicion. Which might as well just say “Whenever we feel like it”. They also don’t have to tell anyone after they arrest you or give you your one phone call now. Also you obviously don’t understand cops the way I do. When I was in High School I was stopped and searched almost every day by the cops for “reasonable suspicion” for over two years. In that whole time the only thing they ever fount was a pack of cigarettes. If you think you can stop the government from doing something to you then you’re wrong the people in power are just going to get worse and worse until it gets so bad that people are willing to stand up and die for the injustices. The golden era for the united states is over and bush is only quickening the pace.

Howard (user link) says:

Re: Re: Lie Detectors

The only thing worse than a lie detector that doesn’t work, is one that does. If you have nothing to hide, you are not normal (and probably have less than a room-temperature IQ). For instance, at work, I carefully hide my beliefs and opinions regarding religion or politics. No matter what those beliefs or opinions are, somebody will be offended, possibly enough so to harrass me in ways that are not legal. The government (any government) is full of such people, and what I believe (or don’t believe) is none of their damned business. A working lie detector is 100% certain to be abused.

The Celtic Fiddler

Road says:

Re: Re: Re: Lie Detectors

Howard! You Go man

Okay so for those of you who have nothing to hide!!!

Okay great but what about your privacy rights. I don?t want to be monitored everywhere I go. Having someone know all my patterns, tendencies, what I buy, Belive in, watch, who I talk to, what porn I watch, who I sleep with what foods I eat and how I?m a consumer in general. Now we’re talking about what gets my heart pumping?. The more our government knows about use the easier it is to control us. You know this might not be much but with Video cameras on every street corner, wire tapes on every phone, tracking your location vi cell phone, now thermal scanning not even mentioning all the other things corporations and governments use to monitor use. It?s the combination of these technologies that is scary to me, and it?s being allowed under the illusion of national security. Where could this possibly lead in the future??

You don?t stop little things like this now what will it be like 20 years from now. You give up your rights so that you can have a little piece of mind and the illusion of safety.


Michael says:

Re: Lie Detectors

“I am sure of one thing in my life. If I have nothing to hide, then whats to hide. I would assume that only liars would have to worry about a lie detectors, so if you are a happy honest person you would have nothing to fear”
What I’m about to say really applies more to surveilance than lie detecting, but a critical failure in this line of reasoning is that it’s entirely self-focused. Yes, *YOU* may be an honest good person, but what about the person on the other end of the device, the one that has records of everything you say or do?
What if you’re gay and a bunch of homophobes push through laws that not only prevent you from doing what you feel is alright, but could go as far as imprisoning you or forcing medical treatment upon you? What if you suspect your boss or company is breaking the law, but you know any action you take to find out will simply get you fired? That last has been happening to someone close to me, in a government job. Don’t tell me it can’t happen on a larger scale.
Privacy invasion isn’t about using that information against you only if you’ve done something wrong, it’s about people using that information against you regardless of your actions or intent. Do you really trust absolutely every single police officer or government official? Yes, the organization as a whole can be good, and can try to defend its integrity, but even on a technological level these considerations don’t even enter the picture for the kind of stuff we’re talking about.

Karen says:

Re: Lie Detectors

The problem is determining who is an honest person, Joseph. You do not know who is looking and you do not know that the information they have about you is correct. Being an honest person is not a defense. Besides, criminals do not come with “guilty” inscribed on their foreheads. That’s why we have courts.

Heidi says:

Re: Lie Detectors

I think that this lie detector test is bullshit. The government shouldn’t be able to test you without your knowledge. I think that it goes against the constitution. The government might as well just put cameras up in our houses and all buildings, know what we are doing at all times. We have the right to lie if we want to, they shouldn’t be able to tell us what we’re thinking or not. I don’t have anything to hide, like other people have stated, but if I did have something to hide, i should be able to hide it if I want to.

John Doh says:

Re: Weapon

You’re exposed to microwaves everyday from cell phones, cordless phones, wireless networks, leaky microwave ovens, and even the sun. What makes the difference is the intensity (magnitude) of the microwaves to which you’re exposed. If the microwave is not powerful enough to damage you or is mostly contained (e.g. microwave oven), then it’s not considered a weapon.

Just one guy says:

What's the point?

Privacy, nothing to fear, what is the point?

People lie every day several times a day (“You look gorgeous in that dress”, “These are the cheapest and ripest melons you can find around”, “no, your kids are not bothering me”, etc.) without missing a heartbeat. It’s stress conditions that lie detector can capture, as when, in a situation where you should not lie, you actually find yourself forced to do so (e.g., when you are questioned by the police and you have something that you do not want them to know).

So if you plant remote physiological sensors on me without telling me, what good can that be? You would get the same readings if I was planning a big terrorist attack, if I was lying to the police, or to my boss, or to my niece, and also if I has just run a while in the park, or if I was holding a big pee and couldn’t just leave the room to find a toilet.

So, my dear police officer, help yourself in remotely reading my physiological state: you could find important news about my health in advance, but I challenge to use that information in court.

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