At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Yuval Noah Harari suggests future global health pandemics like Covid 19 will be serious enough to convince people to accept Biometric Surveillance as a way to escape Lockdowns and return to normal life.
What he’s talking about is people’s biometric data being fed into a Social Credit Score algorithm, building a Selfish Ledger that will then be used with "Nudge Theory" to guide people into making better choices. Once an organization has access to your biometric data, they will be know what you’re feeling. They will know if you’re happy, sad, angry or frustrated. If they can tie those feelings to what you’re watching on your smart TV, or to what you’re reading online from Online Tracking, they will be able to use that information adversarially, to manipulate and control you. In 2014, Facebook experimented on a subset of users, and tried to manipulate their emotions by altering the number of positive or negative items people saw in their newsfeed. This was done without users consent, and there were no mental health experts monitoring the experiment.
Some companies are starting to experiment with using biometric data to advertise the right product to people at the right time. In 2019 Google paid 2.1 billion dollars to acquire the personal fitness tracker company FitBit. This acquisition left many people confused, as there was no apparent synergy between the two companies. When people exercise it sets off a series of reactions in their body including the production of feel good chemicals like endorphins and dopamine. This phenomenon is commonly known as runners high. What most people don’t know, is that when these chemicals are released into the body, people are much more likely to make impulse purchases. Google makes it’s money selling advertising, if they know when someone is more likely to make a purchase, and they can show an advertisement at that moment, that’s incredibly important data. Manipulating people into making more impulse purchases is a relatively minor offense. What if political advocacy groups or governments started using biometric data to try and manipulate how people felt about an important issue or event. Thanks to micro-targeting those groups could only try and change the minds of undecided people. The micro-targeting of undecided voters is exactly what Cambridge Analytica did during Brexit and the 2016 Trump election. To learn more about how Cambridge Analytica influenced elections we suggest watching the Netflix documentary "The Great Hack".