Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Google Privacy Facebook Social Networks The Internet The Media Your Rights Online

Vint Cerf: Media Tagging Can Be Disconcerting 96

Posted by timothy
from the you-are-here dept.
coondoggie writes "Cerf says he profoundly feels the advent of cameras everywhere and the ability to post video and photos online can be hugely disconcerting. He recounts how he stepped once off a helicopter for a meeting in Brazil and minutes later was informed a video of himself doing that had been posted to YouTube, something he found to be a discomforting experience. He says getting constant notes about being 'tagged' in online photos from social networking sites such as Facebook still remains a bit of a jolt."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Vint Cerf: Media Tagging Can Be Disconcerting

Comments Filter:
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Thursday October 13, 2011 @02:41PM (#37704720) Journal
    Here [slashdot.org] you learn what to do to avoid being tagged.
  • He isn't the first, and won't be the last.

    Although one wonders why, if Vint Cerf was so uncomfortable, he would continue in roles that involve a lot of public exposure.

    • by hedwards (940851) on Thursday October 13, 2011 @02:51PM (#37704848)

      Because at this point it's a moot point. Once the public knows who you are, there's no guarantee that you'll ever be able to arrange for yourself to be forgotten. It kind of reminds me of what I've heard about Greta Garbo, she did her last work in 1948 and spent the next 40 years or so being out of the spotlight. In the modern era, she'd be completely unable to maintain that as every time somebody did sight her there would be a tagged image on the net.

      What personally concerns me is that it's not just celebrities that end up online like that, an increasing number of people are posted and tagged by friends and complete strangers without any control. Just look at the people of walmart site.

      • Counterpoint: Gene Hackman.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        it's a moot point

        what the hell does 4Chan have to do with this?!!

      • Once the public knows who you are, there's no guarantee that you'll ever be able to arrange for yourself to be forgotten.

        Right.

        Being famous, but not rich, is a huge pain. (The reverse is rather nice, though.) If you have enough money, you can live behind gates. You can go out to places with door control. Or hang out in places with enough celebrities that nobody cares about you. (Malibu and Stanford come to mind.) If not, weirdos can be a real problem.

        Second-tier TV actors run into this problem. They don't make enough for the celebrity lifestyle, but get recognized too much. After a while, though, they're forgotten.

        • by tehcyder (746570)
          It really isn't that difficult not to be recognised in public. If you saw most film stars walking down the street on their own wearing baggy jeans, an old sweatshirt and a cheap baseball cap you'd probably walk right past them.

          Most celebrities though, would probably die a little inside if this ever happened to them, so they continue hanging out in designer clothes at designer clubs and having designer relationships with other celebrities, then moaning when they're photographed.

          For the few dozen peopl
      • by Ghostworks (991012) on Thursday October 13, 2011 @04:36PM (#37706112)

        The trouble here is that the threshold for "celebrity" is becoming alarmingly low. The idea that you choose cede a certain amount of privacy when you choose to become highly visible -- and make no mistake, this is ALSO a very new notion in human history -- doesn't really make sense as cameras become omnipresent, and all media is instantly shared. Tagging is really just a mechanism for allowing that sharing, but the sharing plus the tidal wave of recordings is what marks a change.

        You can use the "chosen celebrity" argument when you claim you have no sympathy for the privacy woes of, say, Demi Moore. But what about Rebecca Black? Jessi Slaughter? If a webcam and two minutes of 4chan's attention is all you need to become an internet celebrity or pariah, isn't that setting the bar pretty damn low?

        In this case, Vint Cerf is a celebrity. To someone. Pretty much everyone can be called "a celebrity to someone" if you talk about a narrow enough circle of interests. Andy Warhol used to talk about everyone's 15 minutes. These days people like to talk about the 1000 True Fans that better networking allows. It all boils down to a lowered barrier between invisible private life and highly visible public life. Untagging yourself is never an option at this level. You're trying to do work to cancel the work of many more people (fans and friends), using many services, some of which you may not know about, all believing that they are the very least acting harmlessly. In this case, Cerf has basically just been good at his job, and outspoken in promoting History's Next Great Thing that he was lucky enough to be around for. Does that really justify publicizing every part of his public life? If so, what does that say for competent, ambitious workers of the future? Are the options really "get comfortable on camera or don't participate in society"?

        Pretty much all privacy cases involving governments devolve into the arguments that to be able to spy is to spy (whether spying is actively being done right now or not). In civil cases, it comes down to whether the aggrieved had a reasonable expectation of privacy, "reasonable" being established by an average person from the greater community. In an existential way, it must be a bit terrifying to one of his generation that an entire younger generation has grown comfortable with, and actually embraces a level of self-surveillance the Stasi wouldn't even be able to dream of.

  • "He recounts how he stepped once off a helicopter for a meeting in Brazil and minutes later was informed a video of himself doing that had been posted to YouTube, something he found to be a discomforting experience."

    So he doesn't like being a celebrity. This isn't exactly new to the human experience. The rate at which the information travels is somewhat new, but Vint is one of the men responsible for that condition, and he did it intentionally.

    I have no sympathy for this concern.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      I don't think it's fair to expect him to foresee the basic invention he worked on being used in conjunction with technology he had nothing to do with.

    • by gandhi_2 (1108023)

      It would have been funnier if it had been Tim Berners-Lee or one of the symantic web metadata folksomonies ontology web2.0 visionaries bitching about being tagged.

    • by hey (83763)

      Yeah, I hate when that happens to me (a nobody).

    • I agree with your specific concern (or lack thereof), but Cerf's specific concern is still valid. I especially find the take-it-or-leave it attitude of some british subjects with regard to CCTV very disconcerting. What does it take to get people to see a problem with thier government?
      • by PoopCat (2218334)

        What does it take to get people to see a problem with thier government?

        Education.

        • by tehcyder (746570)

          What does it take to get people to see a problem with thier government?

          Education.

          For most of us the major problem with our government isn't the number of speed cameras we have

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        I agree with your specific concern (or lack thereof), but Cerf's specific concern is still valid. I especially find the take-it-or-leave it attitude of some british subjects with regard to CCTV very disconcerting. What does it take to get people to see a problem with thier government?

        I love how someone getting photograpned getting off a helicopter in Brazil becomes the fault of English CCTV. They do say that paranoia is just the mirror image of total disassociation, an attempt to force an incomprehensible reality into simplistic mental pigeon holes.

        • I love how someone getting photograpned getting off a helicopter in Brazil becomes the fault of English CCTV.

          No where in that post is that said.

    • by Anonymus (2267354)

      An extremely traumatic and terrible event happened to my wife and I last year. It was front page news in several newspapers, with our full names, our jobs, and other background information about us. When my wife's unique name is googled, it comes up in the first page of results. Neither one of us is even remotely famous, interesting, or worthy of attention in any way, and this was not something that we did or caused.

      This has nothing to do with celebrity other than that a celebrity is complaining. Societ

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        An extremely traumatic and terrible event happened to my wife and I last year. It was front page news in several newspaper

        If you are involved in a newsworthy story, you can't really blame the media for reporting on it. If as an innocent bystander/participant you want to be left alone, just don't encourage them, don't give interviews, they will soon move onto something else.

        I really don't see what else you can expect if you have any sort of free press, provided the media don't break any privacy laws your country may have.

        • by donutz (195717)

          The problem, of course, is that "newsworthy" == "whatever train wreck gets us the most viewers for our advertisers". When it comes to actual useful information, facts, context and statistics, you may as well forget the news media.

    • by arisvega (1414195)

      [..] about being 'tagged' in online photos from social networking sites such as Facebook [..]

      If you have a Facebook account, you can remove the tags of you from pictures. If you have no account, there will be no tags.

      Since this guy is apparently some kind of celebrity that enjoys "stepping out of helicopters in front of cameras", what's his problem?

      I 'll tell you what his problem is: the mainstream media, he can handle. Mainstream media has been a close minded self-centered social club with total control as to who gets publicity- few groups, a few cameras, ONE transmission antenna, millions of pass

      • by Chapter80 (926879)

        Since this guy is apparently some kind of celebrity

        Sounds like you don't know who Vint Cerf is. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vint_Cerf [wikipedia.org]
        Vinton Gray "Vint" Cerf (born June 23, 1943) is an American computer scientist, who is recognized as one of "the fathers of the Internet"...

        Surely you've heard of "Cerfing the Internet".

  • by cachimaster (127194) on Thursday October 13, 2011 @02:45PM (#37704764)

    He looks too important.
    Maybe people would cease to tag him if he didn't look like the Architect from Matrix.

  • Well, Dr. Cerf, you're the one who said "IP on Everything."

    http://gfx.dagbladet.no/pub/artikkel/5/51/518/518800/ip_on_everything_1195570027.jpg [dagbladet.no]

  • by byteherder (722785) on Thursday October 13, 2011 @02:50PM (#37704842)
    What is scary about this technology is that anyone will be able to tag anyone else and follow them any where they go.

    With Facebook, plus facial recognition, plus public video, plus tagging, I can follow/cyberstalk anyone from anywhere.

    Welcome to the world where everyone is your Big Brother.
  • It is not... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Oswald McWeany (2428506) on Thursday October 13, 2011 @02:53PM (#37704874)

    It is not when technology correctly tags you that is scary.

    It is when technology incorrectly tags you that it is scary.

    • by roman_mir (125474)

      Both are scary, because it's not the technology you should be afraid of but the power using that technology. So if you are tagged as something (Jew/Communist/Terrorist/rich), if you are tagged correctly, depending what side of history you are on, you can be then targeted for whatever purpose.

      Tagging is worthless by itself, it's the targeting application that gives it value.

  • by stillnotelf (1476907) on Thursday October 13, 2011 @02:56PM (#37704914)

    I don't much care to be tagged on Facebook, etc, but from TFS:

    He says getting constant notes about being 'tagged' in online photos

    At least he knows he's getting tagged - the tags you don't know about are a lot worse. The ones you know about you can delete or plan for. The privacy invasion you are unaware of is worse than the one you know about.

  • by roc97007 (608802)

    I find it fascinating the autotagging feature in Facebook, which manages to guess the subject right a surprising amount of the time. I can see where this could have uses elsewhere. Let's say, autotagging the output of government street CCTV. Imagine a page where your image pops up automatically every time software recognizes your face. Probably used first with celebrities and (opposing) politicians. There might come a day when you can buy a service, put in your child's name and get a dump of all the tr

    • by hedwards (940851)

      The bad thing about that is that you don't necessarily have any idea as to whether you have grounds to sue Facebook or not. I don't have an account, but even if I did, I'm sure there are plenty of accounts where pictures of me could theoretically filter to. Either passed around chain letter style or lifted from other sites.

      I doubt that is the case, but I don't have any way of knowing. At this point, there really does need to be some consequences for companies like FB that profit from such invasion of privac

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 13, 2011 @03:18PM (#37705160)

    I just finished banging my G/F and a few minutes later I get a phone call from some guy saying he just got a video of me banging his wife. Then a half an hour later some kids show up going on about a video of me banging their mom. It's all just a little too much.

  • Grow Up, Vint (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Here's the "discomforting" video [youtube.com]. Keep in mind he's not just some random attendee to that ICANN conference - he was the friggin' chairman of the board, arriving in the least subtle way possible. And now he's bothered that some fan noticed...

    • by Chapter80 (926879)

      Here's the "discomforting" video [youtube.com]. Keep in mind he's not just some random attendee to that ICANN conference - he was the friggin' chairman of the board, arriving in the least subtle way possible. And now he's bothered that some fan noticed...

      ... and it's only been viewed 571 times in five years!

    • by tehcyder (746570)
      He forgot to have the Ride of the Valkyries blaring out of the chopper, so it's possible a few people missed his arrival.
  • ...I'd pretend I was one of those deaf mutes.

  • by dotwhynot (938895) on Thursday October 13, 2011 @05:09PM (#37706448)
    A privacy free future envisioned: The Light Of Other Days, by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter. http://www.sfsite.com/06a/lod82.htm [sfsite.com]
  • The Amish still consider it a violation of their rights for others to photograph them.

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      The Amish still consider it a violation of their rights for others to photograph them.

      Psychologically, they'd be quite at home on slashdot. Which is somewhat ironic.

  • I seem to recall him predicting the end of the Internet as we know it with the advent of alternate DNS roots in response to the ICANN hegemony. Still waiting for that sky to fall, Vint. Now we see he makes the front page of /. because he finds current technology "disconcerting."

    I would appear Dr. Cerf's boat sailed a long time ago, and he's still standing on the pier waiting to board.

    • I would appear Dr. Cerf's boat sailed a long time ago, and he's still standing on the pier waiting to board.

      He was supposed to be on the same one as Bilbo.

  • What exactly is tagging? I hear it mentioned but not being on Facebook I can only guess what it is. Ie, someone puts a picture on their site and captions it as "Me and Bob and Susan in Yosemite". Why would Bob and Susan get spam when this happens?

    • by pipedwho (1174327)

      So Bob and Susan have an opportunity to add a comment to the photo like: "LOL! You never should have put your hand into that beehive!"

    • by Chapter80 (926879)

      What exactly is tagging? I hear it mentioned but not being on Facebook I can only guess what it is. Ie, someone puts a picture on their site and captions it as "Me and Bob and Susan in Yosemite". Why would Bob and Susan get spam when this happens?

      Then Fred sends Bob a note saying "What the heck are you doing with my wife, Susan?"
      And George sends Bob a note saying "I saw you with Susan. Need a divorce lawyer, Bob?"
      and Harry sends Bob a note saying "Bob, you're fired. You shouldn't have called in sick."

      And to clarify, the tagging is marking people in photos, not just captioning them. You mark the part of the photo that the person is in. And then you designate the person by specific ID. So then, as Bob's future employer, I can check on Bob, and se

  • Maybe Vint should keep his trap shut for a while instead of trumpeting "the father of Internet", eh?
  • A guy takes a helicopter to a meeting is lecturing us on what is normal?

  • to the articles he posts.

    I am aware that he doesn't even read the content of the submissions he posts.

    I am 100% aware of this.

    I am an atheist.

    And yet I pray, I pray to the fucking universe, to the space-time continuum, and to faster-than-light neutrons, that Timothy reads this comment and enrolls himself in a goddamned fucking community college Writing 101 course.

    coondoggie writes "Cerf says he profoundly feels the advent of cameras everywhere and the ability to post video and photos online can be hug

  • More data goes online every day, even aside from what we put there ourselves, data sourced a myriad ways, ways multiplying constantly. It's a(n ever more) digital life.

    There's no pulling the plug. There's only learning to cope. It's just fact that our lives, the lives of everyone, grow ever more transparent.

    So, how will we adjust?

  • His situation today is disconcerting. Tomorrow he'll be browsing around on youtube and click a video at random. It'll be a video of him watching a video of him watching a video of him.....on youtube.

    Next step annihilates the universe in a puff of logic. Or it becomes the sequel to Spaceballs.

Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code. -- Dave Olson

Working...