We know that we live in a surveillance society. There’s nothing that’s going to cause this to revert, because those in power will never relinquish it. However, there was a silver lining that every thing you did wasn’t recordable.
Well, say goodbye to that silver lining. In an effort to make us all more safe from crime, a group of computer scientists at Purdue University have written a program that would allow law enforcement agencies to utilize all surveillance cameras at their will. No, this isn’t scary at all.
The goal of this project was to “…help people take advantage of information that’s out there,” according to David Ebert, an electrical and computer engineer at Purdue University.
This is eerily close to what is happening in Russia with the face recognition app Find Face, who are working with police to have access to closed-circuit television cameras and run images through facial recognition software.
The need for this is understandable in a perfect world where power is never abused, but we do not live in a perfect world. We live in a world where governments have to be watched extremely close and kept on an even shorter leash.
How is this NOT going to be abused?
Even the digital watchdogs, Electron Frontier Foundation knows that it’s evil, but can’t quite come out and demonize it. Dave Maass from the group says,
“I can certainly see the utility for first responders, but it does open up the potential for some unseemly surveillance.”
Make no mistake, our society is not free. This technology is in the “Proof of concept” stage, but it will soon come to full implementation. It will just take a few concerned senators to get this technology approved for daily law enforcement use. Law enforcement is only the tip of the iceberg, an even larger threat are the ‘bad guys’ who would be able to access these systems and pilfer the information at their own discretion.
It’s increasingly more and more difficult to live completely offline, but we should just be aware of what information we put on the internet. Sober vigilance is our best defense.