Technology has started to move into a new, and very creepy phase. Wheels are turning within wheels and information is flowing in ways that most people don’t understand. We’ve heard a lot about government surveillance, but what businesses are doing may be even more disturbing. For example, you look up a product on Amazon and suddenly it’s showing up as an ad on your Facebook Page. Your eyeballs have just been sold to the highest bidder, through a little known system called FBX (Facebook Exchange). Or, you walk down Main Street USA at Walt Disney World and smell cookies baking. What you actually smell is a chemical pumped into the air by a patented machine called The Smellitzer. You’ve just been hit by scent marketing. Stores and shopping malls are starting to use cameras to track your movements and mine data from where you linger, what you look at, and especially, what you pick up but don’t purchase.
Dr. Tom Keenan, FCIPS, I.S.P.,ITCP is a Professor in the Faculty of Environmental Design and an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at the University of Calgary, as well as a Fellow of the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies. He spends most of his spare time writing and has a non-fiction book coming out soon from OR Books, New York.
He was educated at Columbia University earning lots of degrees (BA, M.Sc., M.A. and Ed.D) in philosophy, mathematics, engineering and education. In addition to academic publications in the fields of privacy, security, and the implications of technology, he writes regular men's health columns for the Postmedia newspaper chain, and is National Technology Correspondent for the Business Edge News Magazine.
Tom appears frequently in the media as both an expert and a commentator. His work has appeared on a wide variety of CBC Radio and TV programs, as well as Global Television and CTV, where he is a regular contributor to Alberta Primetime on the subject of "pop culture." In 2013 he received the prestigious NSERC Award for Science Communication, joining previous laureates such as CBC's Bob Macdonald and dinosaur expert Phillip Currie. He has also won the McBain Medical Journalism Award and the Canadian Science Writers' Association Award for his CBC Ideas Series "Crimes of the Future."