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"Smart Dust" Would Monitor Everything


May 7, 2010

In the 1990s, a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, coined the term "smart dust" to predict a future in which the world would be sprinkled with countless, tiny sensors capable of monitoring everything. The reality of that future may not be so distant, CNN.com reports, as Hewlett-Packard recently announced plans to deploy a trillion sensors all over the planet, constantly collecting data on energy usage, predicting earthquakes and monitoring ecosystems, among other uses. But Lee Tien, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, calls the sensors, which experts say may eventually connect in a network similar to the World Wide Web, "a very, very, very huge potential privacy invasion..."
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