What intrigues me is how this is liable to proceed without much wrangling. Any concerns will likely focus on costs, instead of privacy issues.
Call it a sign of changing times.
A few years ago, say, back in 1984 (just to pick a year at random) surveillance cameras on Main Street might have been perceived as invading the privacy of freedom-loving people.
Not any more.
Recently, Western Carolina University blanketed the campus with surveillance cameras. Students interviewed for a television newscast about it were happy as clams.
Right now, I’m hearing those inevitable words of reassurance from a disembodied voice in the room, “Unless you have something to hide, what are you worried about?”
All I’m trying to say is that I find the cultural shift fascinating. Shift happens. We’ve entered an era when opposable thumbs are vital to interpersonal communication.
Personal identity, it seems, is less and less something inherent in the individual, and more and more derived from one’s highly visible place within a social pecking order. I wonder what Marshall “Medium is the Message” McLuhan would make of MySpace, the social networking medium remarkably devoid of anything I recognize as “content.”
I know, I know. All this speculation is pointless and irrelevant in the year 1984+25, nothing more than the ravings of a dinosaur.
What does it say about us that Diebold high-def surveillance cameras will go up on Main Street…
…without so much as a whimper of protest?
For more on privacy, check out the American Civil Liberties Union – www.aclu.org/privacy/gen/index.html