December 26, 2012

When big brother and little brother converge

Posted: December 26, 2012
In a recent Future Tense article, "Prepare for the New Cameras-Everywhere World," ASU's Dan Gillmor predicts disguises will be the next big thing, until they’re outlawed.
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Disguises will be the next big thing, until they’re outlawed, of course. At least this is what Dan Gillmor, founding director of ASU’s Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, predicts in a recent Future Tense article on Slate.

Gillmor explains in "Prepare for the New Cameras-Everywhere World," everything everywhere could soon be recorded from multiple angles with the proliferation of cameras operated by government entities, companies and individuals. Camera resolution is continually increasing, and most have audio capabilities. Add in facial recognition technology, and we’ve arrived at George Orwell’s police-state dystopia. This is a very scary thought. “Terrifying to anyone who cares in the least about liberty,” writes Gillmor.

There are, of course, other implications. The end of professional spot-news journalism is near. Now amateur journalists can immediately capture that which professionals would catch only if their timing was fortuitous. In highly contentious and recorded situations, police are taking to hiding their faces and badges to evade the citizen journalist mob.

The prevalence of recorded technology can be used for good, which has been previously demonstrated (i.e. exposing the realities of factory farms). However, it remains unknown if companies will be able to ban the use of recording devises on private property or if the first amendment will prevail. Regardless, there are great implications for individual citizens, and Gillmor encourages countermeasures, including the predicted resurgence of Groucho glasses.

Future Tense is a collaboration among ASU, the New America Foundation, and Slate magazine that explores how emerging technologies affect policy and society.

Article source:
Slate


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Alicia Fremling, alicia.fremling@asu.edu
Future Tense