There are other perks to life-logging. Conversations could be transcribed and searched, eliminating many disputes as to who said what. We already do this with IRC and some types of video chat. You could even save footage that becomes important only much later. For example, you could prove you sold pencils to Vincent van Gogh before he was famous. Or you could record the first time you met your now-spouse. Finally, there's the entertainment value of life-logging. Think Russian dash cams on steroids.
This technology has the potential to drastically reduce crime and improve quality of life. Yet I think most people would have an aversion to constantly recording their own lives, let alone being constantly recorded by others. I'm curious how people resolve this inconsistency.
1. Police have extraordinary power over others.
2. Juries believe them by default.
This gives them much higher requirements for accountability than most people.
I do really like the idea though. Human memories are incredibly inaccurate, but we believe our own memories and can't really do otherwise. If we had the option of a surrogate memory that could be really transformational. Imagine what that would do to your perception of time and your discount rate if you could have perfect recall of your whole life?
There are many contexts where juries will believe one party prejudicially over another, and/or one party has some form of extraordinary power in defiance of facts or objective reality. (What these are, and their directions vary over time.) Up until now, it seems that our only and very crude solution has been to introduce a "correcting bias" in the direction deemed most likely to increase the amount of justice enacted in society.
It seems to me that gathering more information in a more timely fashion and making objective and contextually relevant determinations is the rational and technically savvy direction to go. However, I'm not so sure that human beings are mature enough as a species to actually apply such informational power in a truly fair and rational manner. I rather think that we'd be prone to using such power to bolster the whims and prejudices of the status quo, at least in the short term.
Now that is an interesting question. Lowering the time discounting of an entire society is pretty much awesome for everyone involved.
We need to get some RCTs or at least large epidemiological surveys on the time discounting of sousveillers & lifeloggers.
Or, an even more likely occurrence: Police get dispatched to domestic disputes quite frequently, where there's lots of hateful argument going on. The content of these arguments is often something that you don't want your neighbours or colleagues finding out, for a host of reasons.
Upside, most especially if you are black: the police do not smash your door down in full riot gear, shoot your dog, point rifles at your kids, put a gun to your head and threaten to arrest you on a trumped up assault charge. All because they got the wrong address.
There is no "right" decision.
I personally fear the legal system much more. Both because it is more likely and it's consequences are more severe. Being ostracized and fired from my job cause I'm a furry vs spending anytime in jail/prison (which would probably get me ostracized and fired anyways).
Or the risk of what the police might do if unrecorded outweighs the neighbours gossiping.
Also in suburbia it is my experience that neighbours can hear what is being sad in a domestic anyway. Drywall doesn't muffle yelling much.
I'm inclined to believe that I don't want surrogate memory. You might be interested in an episode of Black Mirror, "The Entire History of You", that is premised around this.
If not, what makes you think that the current spot on the continuum from "accurate/prosthetic memories" to "inaccurate/solely internal memories" is the best spot?
And personally, I don't want to have to live my life in a way where everything I say or do is on the record. I want the freedom to be able to make remarks and jokes that would be appropriate among friends but not to any random person. I don't want to have to phrase everything I say as PC as possible knowing that it will be stored forever.
I think power discrepancies between private citizens can be just as great. I'm 5'6" and 120lbs. Even unarmed, many people pose a threat to me. Heck, I've been physically threatened by strangers several times in the past month.
Also, I think recording strangers in public would help curb antisocial behavior. There's a guy swearing loudly on his cell phone on the bus I'm riding. Maybe he'd tone it down a little if someone threatened to upload a video of him.
Some people are just anti social and do not care.
 preparing a joint isn't anti social! They're not smoking it on the bus. But it is illegal in the UK.
We have that ability already. In Australia last year there were several cases of racially motivated verbal abuse on public transport being caught on mobile phones. These made the evening news. I wonder if this, and other similar instances around the world, have made anyone think twice before being anti-social.
Yet another instance where life logging would have been useful: I was walking home this evening and someone in a car blasted me with an air horn. It's been about an hour since the incident. Both my ears feel like they are plugged and I hear ringing in my right ear. I got the car's make and model, but I was in too much pain to think about looking for the plate. Life logging probably would have caught the perpetrator.
You propose that people log there every day lives? Why don't we just increase the CCTV cameras on every street, so some one can watch our every moves 24/7.
I apologize if I've misinterpreted your comment.
Unfortunately, and technically reasonable solution to people recording their lives would likely include automatic uploading, cloud storage, and ultimately government (and corporate) access to the video. I am not OK with that, for the same reasons I'm not OK with government surveillance.
Unfortunately, those recordings would not be out of reach because while you cannot be compelled to testify against yourself, you can be compelled to testify against someone else if the prosecution has reason to believe you have testimony material to the charges. And that is why this sort of thing falls down.
People who breach privacy do stuff with that information. Governments who breach privacy do very little with that information, and mostly not to me.
That's not to say it is acceptable for governments to do it - they must not. But if find it weird to read on HN peoe saying that it is terrible for a government to breach privacy but then admitting they do it to their users.
Here's a hardware startup idea: A voice recorder that reliably records only your own voice. This could be combined with a soundless video record to legally and automatically record your public life in almost any jurisdiction in the US.
There are other perks to life-logging. Conversations could be transcribed and searched, eliminating many disputes as to who said what.
Basically the same perks and drawbacks to small town or village life.
Think Russian dash cams on steroids.
People lie. A lot! And even people trying to be accurate and truthful are subject to all sorts of malfunctions.
...If you catalog all of the pernicious things humans do to themselves then Homo sapiens comes out worse than any "forehead-alien/warlike species" from any sci-fi TV or movie property. The Klingons or the Kzinti have nothing on humans in terms of cold, sadistic, or violent tendencies. The Ferengi have nothing on us in terms of greed-driven amorality. Even Sith Lords are amateurs at cold-blooded Realpolitik compared to actual historic figures.
Humans are wonderful and horrible all at the same time. Maybe that's the solution to the Fermi Paradox. We're like the extremely interesting person you find so hot on okcupid, but you know way better than to even consider dating them, precisely because they're a little too interesting.
When all is said and done, voluntary free-market self-surveillance is still preferable to the closed-minded doublethink of traditional religious/social institutions and their methods of controlling us unruly humans.
Storage and battery size and etc have all been a bit clunky until recently too. I guess a rolling buffer of a hour is fine; click a button to dump the peevious hour to long term storage?
The few times where I would have benefited from using such devices I know the other people would have really really hated me using it.
I'm interested in cheap / free (as in cost and rights) methods for life logging. I don't care about breaking surveillance laws.
This is a potential problem. In the OP the officer waits until after the situation to upload. If it's not live streaming then you risk being attacked so that the video footage is prevented from being uploaded.
This issue came up here in the past in relation to apps for recording audio using a smartphone.
>I don't care about breaking surveillance laws. //
This is especially interesting to me as you're effectively gathering evidence that could show you broke the law. I'd assume in the UK such evidence, if found, could be used against you.
Would you need to wear a sign saying "video recording in operation"?
I should have been clearer though. For my purposes the video / audio would have very limited use. "Hey! They did this thing that they must not do! That's why I did what I did".
NHS (uk health service) complaints system is a bit broken and recording appointments would be useful for me.
It seems to me that those two statements are very much at odds with each other, unless the 'benefit' you're getting from life-logging is simply personal or emotional satisfaction. What 'benefit' are we talking about here?
Without a recording my options are to write a nearest relative's letter of order to discharge, and face the wrarh of the psychologist who could then cause considerable trouble for me and my spouse.
With the recording all the backlash from the psych is damped down when I let people know what actually happened.
Recording that meeting has some ethical and moral problems and the other people in the meeting would be strongly against me recording it. And while there might be laws against it they tend not to be strictly enforced over here.
There are a bunch of other "he said she said" situations where a recording might be useful.
This has already taken root in a bunch of countries, to an extent. Dash cams are ubiquitous in Russia, though it's this restricted to "when I'm in my car" (depending on make, dash cams can record only the outside — front — or both inside and outside)
The legality of recording someone without their express consent also varies by state. I would love to record my daily public life. Laws and technology make that tricky.
There is definitely some benefit there for the right environment, but always on blanket recording across the populations to me seems the downside would outweigh the positives.
Unfortunately the state that I live in (Illinois) is a two-party consent state. Even in cases where I know I'm going to be ripped off, such as cancelling a gym membership, I'm not able to record.
Personally life logging is something I'm personally quite interested in, but mandating it, even socially rather than legally, is highly problematic in my eyes.
For instance, OneNote sounds great, until I realised using it multi-device means everything gets stored on MS's servers in plaintext, available to anyone in position (technically or legally).