…but Henry Porter seems to be too afraid of the downside to ever consider their might be an upside:
At what point will the British public realise that its privacy and freedom is in mortal danger?
His concern is due to the rise in ‘high-definition and facial-recognition technologies in CCTV systems’ and the potential privacy concerns they will raise.
Wherever you go, someone will be logging your movements – whether it is the police or the big supermarket chains that are anxious to monitor the behaviour of customers in their stores.
Unfortunately, Henry, you are talking to a generation which is quite happy to share with complete strangers – potentially, around the world – where they are going and what they are doing via social media…
When people have that kind of power, they always abuse it. If you doubt me, recall that the police national computer system has been used by serving officers for illegal purposes.
Yes, it has. And those officers have been caught and often dismissed, sometimes jailed.
Why do you not assume that the same would be the case with those who misuse this technology?
And consider how a government in a tight situation might be tempted to use a national face-recognition system to keep tabs on people to stifle protest, free expression and assembly.
Which simply makes it quicker and easier, and less labour-intensive, to do what they are already doing with old fashioned photography, and which a judge has already ruled to be merely a known consequence of being a regular protester.
And why should it ‘stifle protest, free expression and assembly’? I hate to use the hackneyed phrase ‘if you’ve got nothing to hide…’ but it’s a cliché because it’s partly based in truth.
If you aren’t planning on throwing rocks at the police or swinging on the Cenotaph, and you aren’t currently claiming to your boss you are ill in bed when you are really marching through London for Tibet or seals or Chilean donkeys, you need not worry about being photographed, surely?
… right now, MPs must have a serious look at the technology, and what is already happening on our streets, because the nightmarish future is already here.
What nightmarish future? A world where these people are photographed, identified and arrested? If so, bring it on!
And why isn’t the ‘Guardian’ and the likes of Henry Porter worrying about rather more sinister advances?