Two on police surveillance

Matthew Feeney joins Caleb Brown to discuss aspects of police surveillance and privacy in two Cato Daily Podcasts. The first arises from the rapid advance of facial recognition technology and databases: a tech company is now promising to link up photos of unknown people with their presence on the web for private clients and police.

The second inquires into where we are headed with the new electronic neighborhood watch: Amazon’s Ring provides handy surveillance of the front porches of many American homeowners, but acquires a new dimension when localities partner with the company to make it easier for cops to get its footage.

One Comment

  • My attitude toward these and related tech depends very much on who is going to use them and how.

    I would never have an Alexa or Siri inside my house, and I get uncomfortable if I visit somebody who has one. On the other hand, I would have no problem with the landlord having cameras and mikes that monitor the area around the mobile homes in my park. And I’d tolerate a Ring or even a direct police camera that covers my porch, on condition that they’re willing to provide me footage so I can go to court and win if some neighborhood child commits vandalism, or there’s a disturbance or altercation.

    As for Clearview, I’d like to see it get into the hands of the general public (or have somebody duplicate it as open-source) ASAP, because we can all use it to identify assholes who may not rise to the level of police response, but threaten to and have no business being where they can affect my life. And that category covers a lot of ground for some of us.

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