The Next 25 Years in Tech

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Bumps in the Road

But before we wire our bodies, we need a far more secure network than today's Internet and better privacy safeguards for the petabytes of consumer data that an always-connected world will generate, says Pradeep Khosla, codirector of CyLab, Carnegie-Mellon University's computer security think tank.

Ari Juels, chief scientist for data security company RSA, says that biometrics and encryption will help with access security; but trouble may still arise when data reaches users' screens. Context-smart back-end systems will help. "They'll know that, if you are in San Francisco right now, someone in Thailand shouldn't be using your credit card number," Juels explains.

Khosla says that a combination of technology, education, and tough legislation against "the abuse and misuse of information" is the best way to surmount the privacy hurdles that remain. "I don't think we're quite there yet," he adds.

In Liebhold's view, the issue of privacy needs to be elevated. "I don't think it's a foregone conclusion that our privacy will be lost or that it will be protected. It's our fate. We have control over the future; we're not victims of it."

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