You're on Candid (Zoom) Camera
Anita Sharpe on Culture
It seems we're nearing the day when we'll have no private lives outside our homes.
Chicago is set to become (in 2006) one of the first U.S. cities to have video surveillance cameras that automatically alert the police to any suspicious activity (loitering around buildings or leaving packages unattended, etc.) 'Dispatchers will be able to tilt or zoom the cameras, some of which magnify images up to 400 times, in order to watch suspicious people and follow them from one camera's range to another,' according to a story in today's New York Times.
For some reason, this doesn't trouble me the way I sort of think it should. Rather than an invasion of privacy, it seems more like a virtual 'neighborhood watch' program. Aren't the bad guys going to think twice about stealing a car, molesting a child or blowing up a building if they know the cops stand ready to instantly nab them?
And from a philosophical standpoint, are we really entitled to privacy in public? On the other hand, the concept is totally Orwellian. I'm still mulling this one over. . .