Thursday, November 02, 2006

Sleepwalking towards an accidental surveillance society

In an era of CCTV cameras on practically every street corner, medical records mysteriously disappearing and personal details being stored by various state and private sector organs on multiple databases in the digital age, the concept of an Orwellian “Big Brother” society is an increasingly popular talking point.
I presented a conference paper on the subject myself a couple of years ago.

What’s hit the headlines today is the publication by the UK’s Information Commission of a comprehensive report by a panel of experts on the surveillance society and how it is likely to develop in the future. The report reveals some potentially disturbing facts and figures.

According to the report there are an estimated 4.2 million closed-circuit TV cameras in the UK, one for every 14 people. It looks like Big Brother certainly is watching over us. There are of course good reasons for surveillance, but the question remains: to what extent is it effective in bringing about a safer society and is the loss of privacy a price worth paying?


Antonio from Italy said...

Yes, there's plenty of CCTV cameras, sometimes they are disguised as lamp posts or other anonymous items.
Anyway, when I feel like doing it, I greet those lenses with a great smile and a middle finger ;-)

CW said...

Good for you Antonio! Take a stand for the people against the tyranny of the fascist big brother surveillance state!