Monday, October 04, 2004
MIT's Technology Review mailing had this quick article about iSee (click on the button next to the questionmark), a project by the Institue for Applied Autonomy. iSee is a map of Manhattan, with all known surveillance cameras mapped on it. If you click on the map, you can set start and end points, and iSee will provide you with a path to take to avoid these cameras.
iSee purports to be a project that enables the discussion about how surveillance networks are being grown and used, and who owns them.
While I think this might be a fine discussion for conversation, I'm guessing that most of us have come to grips with the idea that we will end up on someone's surveillance camera a few or more times a day. The big question, and perhaps the one that the Institute of Applied Autonomy is interested in talking about, is what happens if/when these cameras get all connected together along with technology that can identify you as you go from one camera to the next.
All this being said, my personal interest is in what happens when we are all enabled with cameras all the time. Then you will pretty much not be able to go anywhere without being recorded, and projects like iSee will be useless. As I've mentioned before, certain government agencies will have valid reasons (at least on the surface of it) to want to tap your personal data stream. So the conversation I'd rather have, is about how we might deal with this proactively.
Technology Review: 77 Mass Ave.