Privacy SOS

Contact lenses that bring the digital world into your head

The future is coming, fast.

Researchers at Washington-based Innovega iOptiks are working on developing contact lenses that "enhance normal vision by allowing a wearer to view virtual and augmented reality images without the need for bulky apparatus." Unsurprisingly, the money for this work is coming from the military's anything-is-possible research wing, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). 
Sounds pretty cool, right? Just imagine the applications! Built-in night vision. Connection to internet images via the human eye. Video games that seem like they are real, right in front of you.
Unfortunately, the research will likely be deployed for extremely sinister purposes. Among those is the likelihood that the technology will be used to surreptitiously identify people in real time. 
How? By using built-in face recognition and iris scanning identification systems. In the scary future, you might suspect a government agent is searching for your image in a database when he or she simply looks at you. 
What happened to the cool future, with teleporting and hovercraft highways in the sky? 

© 2021 ACLU of Massachusetts.