Thursday, 20 January 2011

I Can Seeeeee Youuuu. But no, seriously, you're right here on my screen.

For many many years we've all been watched. Every single day of our lives.
Some say its part of social control, part of our own security and sometimes just for laughs.
CCTV for example, is widely used these days. And I know sometimes when you spot a camera when you head into a shop or on a train you suddenly remember. And you know behind that lens theres someone in a room watching you. Creepy. But yes, apparently this is for our safety. Well, it is. Helps the police track criminals, gives you a nice mug shot of them, and helps to identify both victims/witnesses and suspects. This is obviously all good, as long as you're not the one who committed said crime.
(Click Here for Police and CCTV information)

Not something I'd want to be caught doing on google earth.

But as long as we know there's someone watching us, we can't be ourselves. Even in the so-called privacy of our homes we aren't getting that much privacy. With invasive reality TV shows like Big Brother, Meet the Parents, etc there's even less privacy. I guess people just like to watch other people squirm.
Then there's Google Earth (or Google maps). Of course, its wonderful looking at the places you'd love to go on a map of the world, sightseeing from your own room. Cool. But not so cool if you happened to be down that street when the photo was taken, especially if you're doing something you shouldn't have.
Also you can actually vaguely see through the windows of houses. Creepy. Makes you want to close your curtains forever.

Actually the thing I don't get is why anyone would want to put themselves through the fear of being watched and not having the basic right to privacy by going in the Big Brother house. Thankfully its done and dusted now, but really?  Who'd want to be watched every second of their day.

Big Brother 5 Logo
- I never knew they were all different..
 And the people who watch are just as bad. Why watch a person sleeping? It's like being a crazy stalker from a distance.

Privacy is something I wish we could all have, but unfortunately the world doesn't work that way. Cameras are there to do all these supposedly good things but they just make you squirm over all.

Something that may be interesting perhaps would be to ask this: What would it be like to have a world with real privacy. Not being watched all day, and knowing you weren't.
Maybe it'd be like the past? Or maybe a thing of the future? (Although I very much doubt that..)

1 comment:

  1. On the flip side, as well as creating a 'Big Brother' society, cameras also create a more peaceful society; imagine a criminal about to carry out a dastardly act who just spots a camera mid-crime. They'd have three choices, leave immediately and hope the camera hasn't picked them up, destroy the camera (though this would mean getting nearer the camera - and besides, the camera isn't the device that stores the video stream), or carry on regardless, knowing that your actions will most likely be noticed and your free life will be short-lived.

    Also on the crime side, without cameras, the police would have very little idea at this point about any of the facts in the current Jo Yeates murder enquiry. The CCTV images of the pizza-buying are certainly being paraded as one of the key pieces of evidence that narrows down the time when the murder could have occurred.

    Google Street View, as well as providing little privacy (though, this is only a snapshot of a moment lost in time), is also a useful reference tool. At work, we use Street View to find out what a house looks like before we go to visit the resident. It is a good method of pinpointing an end to a route - a recent image is far more useful as an associative tool than a map.

    As for Big Brother (the TV series), well, the less said about that the better.

    I'm afraid that only in a modern utopia could society do without cameras invading privacy.


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