Nanotech Database

Article Title:
Plenty of Eyes at the Bottom.

Toumey, Chris

Journal Information:
Nature Nanotechnology
Vol. 2, Num. 4


This article deals with the potential privacy infringement and civil liberties issues created by nanotechnology. Article author Chris Toumey argues that nanotechnology does, indeed, have the potential to make it easier for governments and corporations to invade individuals' privacy. Such potentially beneficial technologies as personalized medicine, for example, would inevitably mean very personal information might more easily fall into unauthorized hands. The rise of the Internet and the passage of the Patriot Act, Toumey argues, have helped to create a culture which already has significant issues in controlling access to private information, and nanotechnology might only exacerbate these existing problems. The general public's largest concerns about nanotechnology frequently center around the potential for their privacy to be infringed upon, so nanoscientists need, Toumey maintains, to make sure to think about privacy safeguards while developing nanotechnologies, rather than considering privacy issues after these technologies have been developed.