Wednesday, April 29, 2009

DVR: Digital Video Recording

our every move digitally recorded

The number one reason why people use digital video recording, DVR for short, is security. From small shop owners and families to big financial institutions, digital cameras are used everywhere and recorded tapes (a misnomer here obviously) or other media are stored for inspection purposes later. Though it is difficult to claim it stops abuse or theft, security by DVR has three immediate benefits:
  1. It is considered as a deterrent
  2. It drives down insurance costs
  3. Data stored occupies less space and is extremely portable.
 Now, include other gadgets in e.g. stations, airports, city halls, traffic lights, subways, stores and whatnot into this cameraverse, it will not be wrong to say unless we decide to live in caves, our every move is under surveillance.

Still, as far as our privacy is concerned, one can safely assume that it is intact just because of the sheer amount of data collected. Unless it is narrowed down, we are just one of the millions of pixels residing in those images, despite the fact that significant improvements have been made in facial recognition software and the like.

I tend to believe that our assumed safety is an illusion because we ignore the fact that millions of gigabytes of data is collected by other means as well, though not necessarily visually. What is more, it has important political implications if we do not place safeguards to access this data, assuming of course, there really is a good reason to collect it in the first place. This will be the main issue I will be focusing although some technical information or pointers to it will be given. It is time to think about what should be done to keep a free society free.

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