Most of commentary over George Orwell's novel, "1984" that occured in that year, was derision, saying that now it was quite clear that eerie picture painted of "Big Brother" was unlikely, and certainly not possible.
Now Microsoft has proposed a sweeping web initiative which it has dubbed "dot Net" or .Net in which they would be "host" for personal information of every single online consumer. The idea has some appeal as a possible way to access information from a central bank of servers using XML code to withdraw selected info from vast database of personal information about anyone from a central "host".
To have web access to that information might save life of an accident victim allergic to medications or allow you to withdraw cash from any bank via your cell phone.
The privacy implications though, are downright spooky. Now, you combine that information with newly available science-fiction- like "face-mapping" software tested this year at "Snooper- Bowl" where certain law-enforcement agencies would have access to private personal information and high resolution video scans of crowd and you have -- Big Brother. Combine that with "Telematics" being used by car rental agencies to track location and even speed of their fleet of cars and now it gets real ugly.
This is George Orwell novel, "1984" come to life, a little late, but it's definitely here. Carry a cell phone? It will be federally mandated that your phone must use global positioning technology so that when used to dial emergency services via 911, you can be located to within twenty feet or less. It doesn't take a genius to realize that could be used by Big Brother just as easily without your knowledge.
Any idea if your boss is peering over your shoulder? More than three- quarters of corporate employers monitor employees in multiple ways. The following is from Onvia.com web article on workplace monitoring.
"Although average percentage of workers with office e-mail and Internet connections remained relatively constant, overall active monitoring grew to 78 percent from 74 percent in 2000. The overall figure includes such measures as storing and reviewing computer files (36 percent), video recording of employees on job (15 percent), recording and reviewing telephone messages (12 percent), and storing and reviewing voice mail (8 percent)
Other forms of surveillance, including telephone numbers called and time spent on phone, logged computer time and video surveillance for security purposes brought total for all forms of monitoring to 82 percent, up from last year's 78 percent and from 67 percent in 1999."