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I'm not sure what the general objection is to facial recognition technology. What's the difference between this and hiring a team of autistic savants who can remember a ton of faces? They use their eyes (cameras) to look at faces, and their brains (algorithms) to classify the image. One just costs a lot less to create.

Oh come on.

You can reduce almost anything that way.

‘What is wrong with a surveillance balloon hovering over every city following all citizens and logging their activity? It’s no different to the police officer on the corner observing the public’.

It’s a matter of scale, efficiency and generality.

The scariest thing imaginable is a truly efficient government. Our system works because there is room for rebels and alternate ways of thinking and living to bubble into the whole polity.

Gay rights for example.

If the government had had the ability to monitor all homosexuals back when the laws were truly terrible - they’d all be in prison.

Runaway slaves? Same deal.

> The scariest thing imaginable is a truly efficient government.

but, doesn't it depend upon what the government's doing?

if the government is efficiently preventing mining companies from pouring cyanide into waterways, regulating large Wall Street banks and building safe and ubiquitous mass transit to replace large swarms of polluting vehicles -- is that scarier than every other scary thing?

You can't give it efficiency in some areas and hope it stays inefficient in others. I would rather have a government that is incapable for preventing the next major civil rights battle and let a bad corporate actor emerge every now and then, than have a government that is able to crush even the slightest populist uprising without missing a beat.

On the other hand:

Murder and rape? Same deal.

I think it's perfectly correct to believe that the US government in its current state is pure shit for more than just the reasons you mentioned. But forced inefficiency sounds like a ridiculous way to go about fixing it.

If society takes issue with the laws, fix the laws. But having a law that relies on selective and inefficient enforcement is a stupid law.

Searching and following a particular person with probably cause is fine under the constitution allowing the police effectively follow anyone 24/7 strips away a lot of 4th amendment protections. The fact that the laws haven't quite caught up to the ability of police to spy on people en mass should not be a justification for them doing so. Law makers lag behind the public and the state of technology by decades.

We tried to fix the laws, but the tyrants won. Next step is to try to stymie the tyrants.

Imagine trying to argue your point to the USA Founders, who seceded from the government they found oppressive.

Because scale matters. Things that are acceptable when they're difficult and expensive become unacceptable when the cost drops towards zero.

When you can do things broadly and cheaply, you tend to do so just because you can. This is analogous to "data mining" in "big data", aka one major issue with modern science -- when you look at everything trying to identify basic patterns, you'll have a heck of a lot of false positives.

AI is sociopathic, that's why.

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