Is Gattaca on the way?

Is Gattaca coming true? The 1997 film starring Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, and Jude Law imagines a future where information about everyone is available, grouping people into Valids (genetically perfect, designed individuals) and In-Valids. In one poignant scene, Thurman’s character takes a hair from Hawke’s to an analysis center to learn whether he’s all he says he is.

Gattaca_InvalidWe’re not far from something similar, according to a Fortune article.

“The availability of cheap facial recognition for the masses may have the effect of normalizing surveillance over time. We are not yet at the point where we can take pictures of people on the street with our smartphones, identify them, and gain access to information about them. However, this reality may not be too far off.”

Does anyone else find it ironic that, despite the US’s vocal commitment to “freedom,” it’s the EU and Canada who won’t allow the Facebook ‘tag’ feature? And why is it that more and more Web apps require or strongly encourage a Facebook profile to make them work?

I’ve stopped calling such things conspiracy, because I don’t think they are. I do think that as we trade our humanity for technological convenience of a thousand types, more of our humanity goes than we realize.


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