Watching You Watching Me
From the 3-part series Nanotechnology: The Power of Small: Nanotechnology (2008)

Many security applications rely on information technology. The use of nanoscale features means that the distance information must travel within a computer is vastly reduced. Nanotechnology will allow covenient sensor surveillance and tracking technologies anywhere in response to our desire for security. Almost anyone could use many of these new technologies. Their applications run the gamut from keeping track of granddad on his more befuddled days to tracking teen buying behavior, to identifying and checking background on possible terrorists as they enter an airport or visit a "critical" part of a major city.

The hypothetical situations in this program challenge us with issues society must address around the use of these technologies for security. Who gets tracked? Who has the right or authority to engage in such activities? Must those watched or tracked be informed? Who has access to the information? How do we take advantage of the benefits of these powerful new technologies, while exercising our right to decide who can share the personal details of our life?

Funders: U. S. Department of Energy; National Science Foundation