According to Chicago station WGN, “Chicago’s vast camera network helped solve Jussie Smollett case.”
That should be no surprise. The more cameras, the more likely crime will be recorded. According to the article:
“Police tapped into Chicago’s vast network of surveillance cameras — and even some homeowners’ doorbell cameras — to track down two brothers who later claimed they were paid by ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett to stage an attack on him, the latest example of the city’s high-tech approach to public safety.”
Some will celebrate the use of this technology to help solve a crime. I certainly do not. Other civil libertarians do not. Every single camera that might record the movement of a bad guy definitely records the movement of everyone else.
And it is not just cameras:
“The search went beyond surveillance cameras to include other electronic records. Detectives also reviewed in-car taxi videos, telephone logs, ride-share records and credit card records, according to a summary of the case released by prosecutors.”
This list of public surveillance and electronic records does not even mention the widespred use of automatic license plate readers. While I can decry the omnipresence of cameras recording more and more of everyday life, the cameras are not going away.
There are only going to be more of them. And as we voluntarily share more and more of our personal information on social media, as our cell phones track and record our every movement, as our texts and emails and direct messages are carved in electronic stone, as our every step is recorded by devices we voluntarily strap on our wrists, as more of our medical records are stored and accessible online, just like our financial transactions and credit scores, privacy as we knew it just twenty years ago is extinct. Deceased. It exists no more.
Lamenting its death, like mourners at a funeral, does no good for the deceased. The death of privacy can not and will not be undone.
While the notion of health monitoring tracking chip inserted under the skin of new born infants terrifies me, I fear it is inevitable. Those born since 2000 know no way of existence that does not include public life on the internet, GPS phones in their pocket and surveillance cameras everywhere. That next step is small. “Hey! Wouldn’t it be great to never lose a child again? All of those kids on milk cartons could be found easily if they had a tracking chip! Fugitives, too! Sex trafficking could be ended! Plus, if your date is going to be late, you can look up her location and see how far away she is without even having to text her! Convenience is awesome!”
Those who object will be ostracized: “Don’t you CARE about the children? Don’t you want to STOP sex slavery!” And those who object will lose the argument. After all, those who voluntarily broadcast to the world their every movement will be easily convinced to have that info broadcast automatically. To be sure, criminals and politicians will figure out a way to get around this broadcast, at least temporarily. We have seen it before. When police first used radar guns to clock an automobile’s speed, it was not long before radar detectors were invented to beat the radar guns. Then the technology for the radar guns beat the technology to detect the guns. And so on.
High ranking government officials will be exempt, of course. You know, for their security. Think about that: The masses will have a chip for their protection. “Leadership” will not have one for their protection. Funny how that works.
Some privacy still exists. It is not dead yet. But it is in hospice. And it does not have long.