That's why cannabis was criminalized in the first place: target hippies and PoC, get their leaders silenced.
The way privacy norms and abstract rules about limiting power come about is *not" through gradualism. It's through hurdled events. The american revolution. The 1989 revolutions. Particular points in time where you can say "Stazi bad. Never again."
The reality is that these chouces involve compromising security. Slightly freer, and slightly less safe is not a winning political argument.
Imagine a system where detectives can plug it back a name or a face and retrieve location information from that person's phone, city-wide CCTV video, etc.
Creeoy, but more crimes will be solved.
Gradualism favours security over freedom in the long term. There are 19 rapists walking free in our city today, because limits on police power.... There's only one way this argument goes.
I agree with your general concern, but I'm not sure I accept this part.
At the moment, a lot of smart, tech-savvy people channel a lot of energy into fighting this sort of thing directly. They look for weaknesses in the systems, analyze potential abuses, go to town hall meetings and Senate hearings. If that's ultimately a doomed delaying tactic, it doesn't mean the entire problem is unsolvable - but it also doesn't mean the people who think it's hopeless have a better answer on hand.
I think there's room to say "fighting this directly isn't going to work, so let's use the time we're buying to look for a better answer". It could perhaps be said with more positivity or focus on the 'elsewhere', but the lack of a proposal doesn't mean the criticism is invalid.
(Of course, we should also directly ask if the pessimism is warranted. The crypto wars never ended, but for all the fatalism over that issue we're in a far better position today than "RSA is a munition, install this Clipper chip". I worry that the common axis is not "activism wins" but "containment fails", which argues crypto and surveillance will both spread. But I think it's an open question.)
It should be when the reality, despite the publicity of occasional terrorist incidents (9/11 included), is "slightly freer and slightly less safe against an event so vanishingly unlikely you should simply forget about it. You're hundreds of times more likely to die in a car accident or falling off a ladder. We should not let the terrorists win by ruining our way of life and associated freedoms".
Surely that's not that hard a message to sell when it has been a winning message for many years in the past?
No, it's the current fashion. I expect more of politicians. Of course in today's world I am regularly disappointed.
Be disappointed all you want, but try actually taking their position seriously first.
That's a mighty big presumption. Upon what grounds do you say I am not?
You might want to update this prior.
True, however "slightly less prone to abuse" is a very strong argument, especially if you don't really trust the people who hold the power at the moment.
Maybe, but I imagine the progress would have been significantly slower (than it already has been).
In one sense, it's exactly what always-on cameras are meant to do: prevent police from ignoring the law when no one is watching. The goal is to limit brutality and baseless charges, but the mechanism works equally well against neglected charges and officer discretion.
The places that moved first on legal marijuana were the same ones that started with détente; I think there's some real substance to the idea that bans on harmless things erode because we see that nothing bad happens when they go unenforced. (For that matter, it's the same idea as people leaving cults when they break the rules in private and discover "hey, nothing bad happened!") Universal enforcement takes away a natural experiment on the results of non-enforcement.
Oh wait sorry my bad. It was done by illegal bloody revolt against repressive laws.
Today we expect a certain level of anonymity, but mostly just because we've grown up with it. It's not been normal through history. It may not even be healthy (to live in a society alone and unknown).
I don't think its the end of the world. It won't even be the end of privacy. Social privacy is mostly pretending in public not to know what you shouldn't know. Nobody 'hears' what goes on behind the bathroom door in their home, because its the height of rudeness to mention it.
We'll have to come up with social norms to not know what everybody is doing every place in public. Not knowing who went to what private clubs, or who visited whom's house after dark when their spouse wasn't home and so on. Unless we saw it in person of course!
Automated facial recognition is explicitly for one interest group to monitor an "other." In most cases, it is a state and its party interests monitoring subjects, or one class monitoring another. It's a weapon and there is nothing benevolent or benign about it.
And agreed no doubt misused facial recognition will be an issue. Just not a personal-relationship one; it'll be a government one.
When you add urbanization and modern identity groups, you are going to be a "them," to someone, and providing them with a technological weapon begs to have the balance corrected.
In case B, an arbitrary person or collection of people across the globe know private facts about you.
The hypothetical individual in case A has _drastically_ different incentives regarding disclosure or use of that information. I wouldn't even call it superficially similar.
The modern example would be that your roommate knows fact X, vs. some larger group, or the entire world, knows fact X.
The former can, but not necessarily will, lead to the latter.
If your sister dies tomorrow, you'd probably be quite upset.
If I die tomorrow, you wouldn't care even if you found out.
Consider that your roommate, parent, village member, whatever, finds out that you're gay. It's a small group. They have the information to know whether that getting out would be good or bad for you, whether you'd like that information to be disclosed.
On a global scale that discretion just doesn't exist at all. Facebook doesn't _care_. A random worker who sees that information doesn't _care_. The information can make its way to someone who _does_ matter to you (or at any later point suddenly you may matter to them).
> They have the information to know whether that getting out would be good or bad for you, whether you'd like that information to be disclosed.
Nowhere did I state that they will necessarily act benevolently. The fact is that they have a choice.
At a large scale that decision making process doesn't exist. Your actions become 'data'.
You can move away from bad roommates or out of your village. You can't move out of the world.
Presumably these "fugitives" include parents with kids at the stadium who are behind on support payments or have outstanding parking fines, or perhaps something else that will initiate a high risk police encounter that will at best disadvantage them in a background check?
Sure, someone else will do it, but at least weapons manufacturers have rules about who they can sell to.
I think we'll get regulation of gallery sharing, which will effectively halt the ability for total surveillance.
Everyone assumes this tech is much better than it actually is. For media, treating it like an end to freedom is good for their click-revenues. But in actuality, FR is a kinda weak sensor that needs to be backed with additional identifying technologies to be practical. Defeating FR is childs' play. Even the very best...
And while one individual isn't enough to prove a point, it is illustrative of the pre-modern distinction between private and public life. One may even suggest our lack of privacy is the result of our general willingness to erode the boundaries of public and private.
A villager knowing a fellow's face is not analogous to a facial recognition surveillance system. A distributed group of people who know each others' faces do not communicate perfectly. Meaning one person can only know a small bit of a recognized individual's activity. In order to construct a full(-ish) picture, cooperation amongst the community (of peers) needs to occur.
Compare this with a camera network covering an entire city. The community's consent is not needed. The effort required to examine a person's activity is trivial. The dynamic and implications are completely different.
Yeah. And they were horrible places for anyone who didn't perfectly fit into them. The smallest deviation could lead to your death and many people had to hide their true self behind something they projected for others to see.
Truth is, it will be used for purposes other than related to terrorism or serious crime. It’s alarming how democratic countries are invading the privacy of their own citizens, creating mass surveillance machinery that could become uncontrollably detrimental to the very institutions and structures that they claim to value and protect. Among the FIVE EYES countries, Australia seems to be doing a lot more (comparatively) on mass surveillance and having the legislative backing for it.
> The database will be accessible to federal, state and territory governments through a central hub connecting the various photographic identity databases.
This is how it starts, with vague claims of safeguards that belie the actual access and how they can (and will be) misused.
It seems like future generations will have to give up freedom to get some sense of safety (as painted by those in power).
It's easy to show an example scenario that almost always causes a system to like this to abuse privacy. Take the system, FR in this case, and insert the use case "Politician XYZ's 3-year old daughter has been abducted, and the FR system we promised not to use for this purpose could identify their captor!". Works every time. Once you do it that first time, the seal is broken for future abuse.
With the more useful protest events numbers are smaller and those that attend aren't there just to post selfies of themselves looking good protesting at the bogeyman-du-jour on Instagram. Protesting against the arms trade or fracking will be getting yourself proper attention from the authorities. The police have the one tactic called 'the kettle' where they form a police line around all the protesters, then letting them out, one by one, getting everyone's photo. From then on you know that you will be in some special rogue's gallery, to be denied being able to work for the three letter agencies and other places in the civil service due to being a known troublemaker. They don't need to take your postcode or DNA, just that waltz past the camera will do. As you can imagine this has a 'chilling effect' and curbs one' enthusiasm for wanting to participate in the direct democracy that is so encouraged by our governments just so long as it is part of the 'Arab Spring' or other such nonsense.
Facial recognition for cows on the farm, that is a thing and also has applications for other areas, e.g. nature conservation, so there is nothing wrong with it for other species, putting them under mass surveillance and not needing the physical tags.
Why don't they just ask for an ID? At least that's what police does in Russia. If you don't have an ID - they can detain you for several hours, if you have an ID - they can detain you for something else ("we need to check your documents, please go with us").
Mission Impossible: “Gait recognition can’t be fooled by simply limping, walking with splayed feet or hunching over, because we’re analyzing all the features of an entire body” ...so in practice, even with our faces hidden.