Pablo Martinez-Almeida believes that the PC-centric nature of voice over IP (VOIP) means that we will all be recording our telephony conversations as a matter of course someday soon. Smartmobs translated Martinez-Almeida’s recent post on the subject from Spanish to English.
But there is a more imminent and important possibility, with more
serious consequences: compulsory thorough recording of all our
conversations. Since more people are using applications such as Skype,
managing their communications from their computers, it is pretty clear
to me that many of them will start to record every conversation they
make. Everything will be stored: date, hour, speakers, dialogue, etc.
Conversations from our mobile phones will be stored too (you may
already find cellular phones with hard drives up to 1.5GB).
So we should start to figure out what the consequences
of such behaviour could be. The way we communicate could change
dramatically. Will we start to use some “legal-warning-non-disclosure
messages” to begin our conversations? Will we be forced to use
“political correctness” at all times?
While I agree that technology will make it easier for people to archive and track our conversations in the future, I believe that privacy concerns will also drive the need for counter-applications such as: (i) a warning system that your conversation is being recorded, akin to the beep on conventional telephones that alerts you to the presence of a recording device and (ii) blocking systems that inhibit recording of your conversations. The popularity of anti-spyware software shows that people sometimes want to browse and communicate on the web anonymously.