Sign In

Communications of the ACM

Letters to the editor

They See What You See

Letters to the Editor, illustration


Andrew Conway's and Peter Eckersley's Viewpoint "When Does Law Enforcement's Demand to Read Your Data Become a Demand to Read Your Mind?" (Sept. 2017) was an important contribution to the ongoing debate over electronic backdoors, whereby a backdoor is a means for accessing and exfiltrating user information not specifically authorized in advance by users. Here, I would like to outline several key aspects of that debate that also need to be addressed.

Although Conway and Eckersley did discuss the possibility that law enforcement could gain access to our most private thoughts, they did not mention a crucial near-term technology through which this exfiltration could happen. Within the next 10 years, "hologlasses," or holographic glasses, are projected by Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Samsung, along with numerous startups, to become almost as common as cellphones are today, as reflected in the scale of their investment in its development. A backdoor in hologlasses could enable a "we see and hear what you see and hear" capability that would provide extraordinary insight into what users are thinking, as well as how they are behaving online and even in the physical world.


No entries found

Log in to Read the Full Article

Sign In

Sign in using your ACM Web Account username and password to access premium content if you are an ACM member, Communications subscriber or Digital Library subscriber.

Need Access?

Please select one of the options below for access to premium content and features.

Create a Web Account

If you are already an ACM member, Communications subscriber, or Digital Library subscriber, please set up a web account to access premium content on this site.

Join the ACM

Become a member to take full advantage of ACM's outstanding computing information resources, networking opportunities, and other benefits.

Subscribe to Communications of the ACM Magazine

Get full access to 50+ years of CACM content and receive the print version of the magazine monthly.

Purchase the Article

Non-members can purchase this article or a copy of the magazine in which it appears.
Sign In for Full Access
» Forgot Password? » Create an ACM Web Account