Thursday, April 07, 2005

125 Years Ago on the Privacy Front

I pontificate: Current discussions often lack historical and/or comparative perspective.

The one thing I'm sure of is that most of the world is whippernappers and it gets worse everyday. Back when I was young, we had a cheap Ansco box camera. I've taken a few pictures in my time and spent an ill-fated 18 months in Rochester so I was interested in a recent biography of "George Eastman" (by Elizabeth Brayer), founder of Kodak. Just in terms of technical innovation the picture was familiar--sounds like biographies of Carnegie, Rockefeller, Gates, et. al. and fits the generalizations of Professor Clayton Christensen ("Innovators's Dilemma). (The biography itself is fact-laden and thorough, but not a quick read) Also some parallels on charity.

But what I'm interested in here were two incidental references--one on page 71 citing a beach that prohibited cameras and one on page 91 saying the Secretary of War had revoked the ban on taking cameras up in the Washington Monument. There was also a brief discussion of the idea that smallish cameras could be used/were used? by detectives. Maybe some historian has already done a piece in this area, but I didn't see a reference.

I take it all as a reminder that new innovations have always caused concern. End of pontification.

No comments: