Those of you who live in or have been to London know there are cameras everywhere. You don’t always notice them, but they are there monitoring your movements – but now they are adding loudspeakers to the CCTV systems so those that monitor can interact, in real-time, with those who exhibit “anti-social” behavior (here)
“LONDON (Reuters) – More CCTV cameras are to be fitted with loudspeakers to allow security staff to berate people spotted dropping litter, vandalising property or fighting, the government said on Wednesday.”…or because of the color of their skin, their choice in clothing, their sexual orientation, their political affiliation, etc…personally I think this is appalling and brings us closer to the reality of 1984, but I am also under no illusions – almost every thing I do is tracked. From ordering a latte, to buying groceries to renting a video to interacting with my bank, my face, my buying patterns and all sorts of information on me is being collected, aggregated and processed, of course there is no reason to make it easier for them – which is why when I shop at Safeway they call me Mr. Livchenko “that’s pronounced Leechenko – the V is silent” or why I am always referred to as Robert “you can just call me Bob” at the local Peet’s.
Since I was born in Nepal I have a long string of what appear to be 60’s, cold-war era, black-market forged documents – it makes it a real pain to replace a passport – but it also means that my history is not as documented as the average American, and although it probably means nothing in terms of real privacy, it does make me feel a little more secure in the knowledge that it would be impossible for anyone, even the US federal government and their massive intelligence machine, to ever obtain a copy of my birth certificate.