The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies hosts the Center for Revolutionary Scientific Thought (CReST), which harbors individuals from a variety of backgrounds to ensure a complete outlook on the futures of science and technology from an academic and policy perspective. CReST intends to inform the public and government officials, alike, about the most pressing issues and concerns regarding the future of science and technology. See one of our latest CReST blogs below:

Neurotechnology and Privacy

By Dr. Paul Syers

Yesterday was National Data Privacy Day. With that in mind, I’m curious as to what data privacy will mean, in a world of enhanced neurotechnologies. Let me paint a picture for you. Imagine we have the ability to read people’s memories. Someone is suspected of a murder and police bring that person in for questioning. There’s circumstantial evidence against this suspect, but enough that would give cause for a warrant to search their house. Would this give the police a right to search the suspect’s memories?

There are lots of implications from this one question. For starters, it could greatly streamline the interrogation and trial process. Just bring a bunch of people in and scan their brains. What need is there for a jury, if you have the evidence of the person’s own memories? However, such an activity (reading someone’s memories) is also an invasion of privacy on a whole new level, and I’m not sure the ends (a direct way to discovering the truth of events) justify the means. After all, we currently give criminal suspects some recourse from divulging information; we have the Fourth and Fifth Amendments.

Find the entire blog here.




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The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies is an independent, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit public policy research institute. The Institute identifies and aggressively shepherds discussion on key science and technology issues facing our society. From these discussions and forums, we develop meaningful science and technology policy options and ensure their implementation at the intersection of business and government.


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