Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • We all like to think we are unique.

  • So they might be your DNA, your fingerprints,

  • iris scans or retinal patterns.

  • We are always leaving digital traces wherever we go,

  • and we can never be truly offline.

  • There's always the suggestion that collecting vast amounts of biometrics

  • is going to be used for something nefarious.

  • But it can actually create some incredibly positive situations.

  • So there's a saying in Chinese -

  • if you haven't done anything wrong, why would you be scared of ghosts?

  • Businesses are typically designed to make money

  • and they will not have, in general,

  • as much interest in protecting your rights.

  • You are very much the product.

  • Fingerprints are something that were used

  • in very, very early Chinese pottery, for example.

  • Where the potter would leave their fingerprint in the wet clay.

  • If you watch television and you read all these forensic fiction,

  • fingerprints solve everything and the honest truth is they don't.

  • The fingerprint in isolation has no value

  • in telling you who the person is

  • until you have something to compare it with.

  • DNA is still the gold standard

  • when we can identify the source of the DNA, whose DNA it is.

  • What we're not very good at understanding

  • is how did it get there?

  • So how did your DNA get on to the knife?

  • Is it because you used the knife to stab somebody?

  • Or is it because you shook hands with somebody

  • who used the knife to stab somebody?

  • If you look at the little skin creases

  • that you have over your knuckles,

  • they're different on every finger,

  • they're different across your two hands,

  • they're different on identical twins.

  • And when infrared light shines on your veins

  • it interacts with the deoxygenated blood

  • and your veins stand out like black tramlines.

  • There is a really strong chance that the hand

  • and of all the biometrics that we can see in the hand

  • may well be that 'holy grail' that we search for

  • which is, it's unique.

  • So there is a global trend across the world

  • where computers collect more data.

  • And therefore governments and corporations

  • are locked in a race where they're trying to collect

  • a mass amount of identifying information.

  • Gathering data about people who live in a city or who live in a borough

  • is now a critical part of the functioning government.

  • If you want to allocate your resources properly

  • you need the data.

  • Wouldn't it just be wonderful

  • if you could put your hand or your finger on whatever devices,

  • it knows exactly who you are,

  • it knows exactly what your health statistics are,

  • what the probability is of you catching cancer

  • because of the gene that you've got -

  • the options are just limitless.

  • Netflix released what they thought was

  • anonymised records of movie watching,

  • and their aim was to try and improve their recommendation algorithms.

  • In other words, if you've watched movies A, B and C

  • you're really quite likely to enjoy watching movie D.

  • Unfortunately researchers quickly realised

  • they were able to cross-reference these anonymous records with IMDB,

  • which is an online movie rating service.

  • And once you can identify who someone is

  • you can work out their sexual preferences

  • to some degree of probability.

  • It would be taking in all sorts of data from local government,

  • from your schools, from your workplaces,

  • from your companies, where you go, your GPS data -

  • putting it into one single score

  • which evaluates how trustworthy - in quotation marks - you are.

  • Like an Uber score

  • where, with a lower credit score,

  • you might not be able to borrow money,

  • you might not be able to travel on public transport.

  • We're always in a cyber-physical space.

  • Every place we go to will have some cyber element around it.

  • There'll be cameras capturing information.

  • There'll be things that are connecting to your phone

  • that you may or may not be aware of.

  • We are always leaving digital traces wherever we go

  • and we can never be truly offline.

  • In Shenzhen, when you're crossing the road,

  • there are CCTV cameras that use facial recognition

  • to see if you're jaywalking or not

  • and then identifying who that citizen is

  • and then sometimes you'll be displayed on a big billboard

  • on the other side of the road in a sort of 'name and shame' action.

  • What happens in China and in other countries

  • is a cautionary lesson for all of us

  • that unless you have proper regulation

  • the gathering of your data is a real danger to our human rights.

  • The landscape is continually changing.

  • Who would have thought ten years ago

  • we'd have had all this collection that we have now?

  • Who would have thought about

  • the ways data can be used and abused.

  • So regulation is always chasing where we are

  • with the current technology.

  • If they provide you with pages and pages of terms and conditions

  • well, that's transparent, so we can all read those.

  • However do we really have the time and the knowledge

  • to read all of those?

  • No.

  • So are we really in a situation where it's not transparent

  • but it's apparent to us?

  • Are we aware?

  • Biometric data is very personal.

  • It's your data because it's about you.

  • They're your fingerprints or it's your DNA.

  • Once it's given away it is incredibly hard,

  • if not impossible, to take it back.

  • I have a real conflict

  • between how much of my information I want to share

  • and how much information I want to have available to me

  • when I go to a crime scene.

  • I want to be able to find the pieces of DNA,

  • I want to be able to find the fingerprints.

  • I want to be able to get every single bit of information I can

  • to make sure justice is served.

  • But of course here I am, sitting in the middle of that crime scene,

  • not wanting to give mine.

  • That old saying,

  • if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear -

  • that kind of approach doesn't value our privacy.

  • If the government said,

  • "We're going to put a camera in every single bedroom in the country

  • that would film what happens in your bedroom,

  • but we assure you we will only turn it on if we think there's suspicion."

  • I think most members of the public would say,

  • "I don't have anything to hide

  • but this is my bedroom, this is private."

  • In reality, there are so many ways to gather data about you nowadays

  • and it can give as detailed information, in some ways, about you

  • as if you were having a camera in your bedroom.

  • Large size datasets or databases are incredibly useful

  • but the critical thing is that they are correctly used.

  • That's going to be a very, very big question that we need to resolve

  • as this digital word really starts to accelerate around us.

We all like to think we are unique.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 data dna bedroom information crime scene knife

The hidden clues that reveal who you are | BBC Ideas

  • 3 0
    Summer posted on 2021/04/29
Video vocabulary