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Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts

Abstract

Starting with heavy, immobile cameras and progressing to immediately shareable, discreet cellphone videos, the last century has expanded our ability to record ourselves and others—whenever and wherever—to formerly unfathomable heights. Black Mirror, a technology-based, sci-fi miniseries now produced by digital entertainment giant, Netflix, tracks this trajectory to its logical end in “The Entire History of You.” In this not-so-distant, sci-fi future where Google Glass is replaced by an “Augmented Reality Contact Lens and Grain,” everything we see and hear is immediately recorded and uploaded. Effectively, we no longer need memories to recall the past. But as with all new technologies, and indeed all Black Mirror episodes, the Grain technology reveals an inherent flaw in humans: when everything is recorded, humans cannot relax in the comfort of hazy recollection or secret memories. In the context of the legal system, both government prosecutors and adverse civil parties will seek discovery of everything one has seen and heard. This article examines the constitutional and privacy issues raised by Grain technology, which will undoubtedly be here soon.

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