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Your privacy out the window

by Bruno Deshayes on 01 Dec 2016 permalink
Do you realise there isn't a safe place in a shopping mall or public lobby where you can pick your nose with impunity? Surveillance cameras everywhere!

No wonder sunglasses sales are up even in winter. Some obscene folks have been dismissed on the spot for installing unauthorised cameras in the ladies toilets. But think of those who didn't get caught and replay to themselves their choice video-clips. What can a security guard do to escape the boredom of the job? Unless she is female...

You can now buy a video camera in the shape of a fountain pen. It is being promoted for evidence gathering to realtors, police officers, counsellors, negotiators, etc... Just like your phone calls are being recorded by every call centre "for training purposes..." it seems everybody with a litigation mindset is investing in Get Smart technology to spy on you.

Then again why would you need to panic? Just like photographs can be retouched, video clips can be edited to modify the soundtrack and make you say words you never uttered. It won't be long before those technological breakthroughs will make such evidence in court inconsequential at best.

People don't trust each other (I wonder why...) and Big Brother is watching everywhere. People are ignoring their neighbours and call for a housesitter to mind their home while they're away. You can setup a webcam in your home and monitor it on your mobile phone to check if pussy finished her sardines and onions. I am sure some hard pressed parents have used the technology to save on childcare. But what is OK for a cat is abuse for an infant. Then again better some child monitoring that nothing at all...

Do you know there is a new discipline in computing called forensic analysis which can spot what you looked for on search engines even without having access to your computer? Marketers have been clamouring for this since everything has to be converted to metrics in order to improve the bottom line and gain market share.

We live in a connected world and we leave our fingerprints wherever we go. Not everything is negative There are applications to check your reach in social media. We know head hunters, HR folks at your work and other anonymous entities are checking your posts if you happen to be the interest of the day.

There used to be a sign in my supermarket: "Smile, you're on camera". They didn't say by how much this tactic reduced shoplifting but my buddy at spynet installations is hiring new apprentices... If spying creates employment then surely it must be good for the economy.



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Bruno Deshayes

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