Privacy in the Shadow of Nanotechnology
Vol. 1, Num. 3
In this article, Toumey addresses the fear that nanotechnology will lead to a loss of privacy, that information would be transferred secretly on the nanoscale without the knowledge or consent of the public. Part of the problem, as Toumey sees it, is that these concerns exist not in the present but in the future, and that speculation and then judgment is always a dangerous concept. Toumey uses this space to investigate the actual science of nanotechnology, as well as to measure the discourses on privacy and technology, in order to better understand the concerns and possibly allay them. While recognizing that nanotechnology has every bit as much potential to increase privacy and protect information, Toumey seems to take a rather pessimistic view of the future he predicts, as well as the past through which most people will construct their framework to understand this new science. In a world of identity theft and credit card fraud, it seems difficult to deny the sinister applications of nanotechnology, especially in the face of overpowering governmental and corporate concerns.