Sunday, October 25, 2009

Identity and Surveillance

The Post has an article today on the adoption of mobile fingerprint readers, equipment originally designed for the military.Local police departments are using them to good effect in various scenarios. Meanwhile the NYTimes reports on the use and possible misuse of CCTV in Britain. Anyone who follows PBS Mystery will know how automatic it is for Brit detectives to check the closed circuit TV tapes.  But apparently, as with many innovations, once it's built it's used.  The Brits have a case where the school authorities used the tapes to try to determine whether a family actually lived in the district they claimed to.  Result: some upset

While some, like the ACLU, see such things as violating our right to privacy.  I'm reminded, however, in the small towns we used to live in there was no such privacy--everyone knew everyone without the need  of a fingerprint reader and everyone watched everyone, without use of CCTV.

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