Peer-to-peer surveillance

I’ve commented about some of the privacy & surveillance implications of adding location meta tags in photos, everyone snapping photos in public with their cellphone cameras, and the rise of amateur surveillance and data-mining. Many of these concerns are repeated in an essay on the Guardian warning of the growing dangers of peer-to-peer surveillance, defined as…

the emerging idea that the constant operation of a whole range of digital devices will increasingly be used as evidence against us by parties other than the state. Many of us have already encountered it, when we find ourselves listening to others’ muffled conversations deposited on our answering machine by erroneously dialled mobile phones. Thus far, much of the eavesdropping has been by accident, but there are more sinister possibilities. Many of the new mobile phones come armed with the facility to record conversations, and digital voice recorders are now so small as to be inconspicuous.

As applications are designed to imprint the date, time and location in which photographs, conversations and videos are made, and mobile tracking devices increasingly allow us to pinpoint the location of others, we can predict consequences for everyday life as well as the legal system. If mobile phones are currently an accessory to infidelity, for example, the new range of mobile devices may overturn that arrangement: a suspicious spouse can easily chance upon video, picture or location-based proof that you were not where you said you were, or commission evidence in support of their case.

[via Pogo Was Right]

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