Recording Your Entire Life

I was reading a post, “Recording Your Entire Life” and all the comments about it on Slashdot, then went on to reading the linked article at Scientific American (A Digital Life).

I was immediately reminded of a movie called “The Final Cut” with Robin Williams. The movie is a little creeping.. basically the idea is that people could have a “Zoe Implant” put into there unborn children that would record everything they see and hear. When the person dies, the implant is removed and loaded into a fancy editing station where a cutter then edits it into a highlights package that is played for the family and friends of the person who died.

I love the idea of storing everything that I do, hear, say and see in a giant database that is search-able. It would be awesome if I could a year later type into my Google personal life search ‘2nd date with Natasha’ or perhaps ‘argument with Henry last Saturday’ and get all the details that I may have missed, forgotten or changed. That said, there are some big problems with this and I’m not talking about technical problems. There are some things I want to forget and not be able to re-live, Death of a loved one, horrible break-up, fights with loved ones and all that kind of stuff. How would you feel if you were talking to someone knowing that the entire conversation is being recorded by them? How would you react? I think I would act differently if I knew that someone was constantly watching me.

Then comes the problem of ownership of the content, do you own something that you saw? What about the noises of a park as you walked through it?

There is also the problem of rights… can I use the information I recorded while I was talking to you against you in a court of law? And if I can, can the court also demand access to my “external memory”? And if while searching through it for information they find other information that perhaps appears to be illegal, can they prosecute me?

Another problem is that you’ll come to rely on this “external memory” for everything, why bother to remember anything when it’s being recorded, indexed and is search-able in seconds? What happens when this external memory breaks or gets corrupt?

What kind of data recovery plan are you going to have?

What about security? This is probably the biggest one… if you’re recording everything imagine what would happen if that information got into the wrong hands.

From a technical/geek/lazy point of view it’s an awesome idea that would make my life a million times easier. The normal human side of me though finds all this really scary.