The Wall Street Journal has a news article about what it says is a NYU photography professor's plan "to undergo surgery in coming weeks" to install a camera in the back of his head as "art."
The Journal article seems to suggest the controversy is mainly about "the competing values of creative expression and student privacy," but I can see a lot of concerns here other than student privacy.
There are a lot of unanswered questions. Who is going to perform the surgery and where? Who will pay for all the attendant costs? Who will be liable if something goes wrong?
The whole thing smacks of an elaborate prank or "performance art."
I guess this is where I part ways with the libertarians on the question of self-ownership. I think a strict libertarian would say it's this professor's own body and he should be able to do whatever he wants to it or with it. But something about the project — the medical ethics of it? — makes me uncomfortable. It'd be one thing if the guy were blind and the camera was some sort of artificial eye. Here's hoping that NYU puts this guy through a thorough psychiatric evaluation before any decision on approving the project.