Proving that it is not always good to be right, public and private video surveillance is gaining critical mass in U.S. cities and towns, just as privacy advocates have warned.
Sensors over highways, on food delivery robots and police vests, hanging from public buildings and convenience store awnings, and attached to porches and doorbells are feeding faces and sounds to the cloud, where law enforcement strains it through biometric recognition software for coordinated action.
Skeptical observers for several years have warned that if biometric surveillance evolves unchecked, life in even modestly populated areas everywhere in the United States will be a real-time 360-degree searchable record.
That’s not here yet, but research by digital-rights group The Electronic Frontier Foundation is not encouraging.
The EFF has an ongoing biometrics project called the Atlas of Surveillance chronicling the growing number of so-called real-time crime centers, which are not unrelated to data-heavy crime-fighting fusion centers.
The real-time crime centers put round-the-clock feeds from private and public cameras and government databases in the hands of police.