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Surveillance State Tourist Memento

A peace dividend for surveillance networks
  [vote for,

A lot of countries, such as Britain, are establishing universal surveillance networks to catch criminals and terrorists. These networks involve CCTV cameras with wide coverage of public areas, number plate and face recognition, logging of mobile phone data, and importation of data from other databases (such as credit card purchases), for national security reasons.

Apart from catching terrorists and drug traffickers, this could also be used to provide a keepsake to tourists.

Imagine this: you're a tourist, arriving at an airport in Freedonia, a state with universal surveillance. You notice a sign saying "WELCOME TO FREEDONIA. YOU ARE NOW UNDER SURVEILLANCE. HAVE A NICE DAY." at the airport.

You stay in Freedonia for a few days, meeting business contacts, going to the local beaches, checking out the nightlife and so on. When leaving, you notice a memento booth at the airport. You go there, producing your passport. The clerk scans your details (and a biometric ID scan for security), takes your credit card and a few minutes later, hands you a CD-R souvenir of your stay in Freedonia.

When you arrive home, you insert the CD-R into your computer. On it you find a navigable map of everywhere you went in Freedonia, constructed from camera IDs and mobile phone triangulation records. Click on any point on the timeline, and you may get one of several candid snaps of yourself from the surveillance cameras. You also find details on the cars you rented, the taxis you rode in, hotel rooms you stayed in, and hypertextual histories of the tourist sites you visited. The record tapers off with your arrival at the airport and the memento booth.

Orwellian? Yes. Would people buy it? Given the popularity of T-shirts detailing fines for seemingly innocuous behaviours with tourists to Singapore, I imagine it could be successful.

acb, Apr 17 2001

The Fifth Utility http://www.sunday-t...azine1.html?1007000
An insightful article on the growth of surveillance in Britain [acb, Apr 17 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

(?) Pubwan and appliances http://www.brightid...05C3E06}&bucket_id=
Appliances, like police departments, collect a lot of information for someone else's consumption. [LoriZ, Dec 11 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       A video diary of your day was developed by Xerox Parc and EuroParc. You had a badge and not only was your day recorded (for you to inspect) but also nearby phones would ring for you and you would be reminded that you need to talk to someone if you passed them.
Aristotle, Apr 18 2001

       Half the speed cameras in England don't exist, only the signs for them, if they do there may not be film in it. As far as CCTV, should there film in it there is little chance of recognising anyone with the quality used at present. Some convictions have been overturned due to this. I think T shirts are a long way off
griffin, Apr 18 2001

       I like Ravenswood's comment. It's sorta like my Constant Dictaphone, except a video version.
QuadAlpha, Sep 17 2001

       I'd buy it in a heartbeat, unless it's overpriced, which it probably would be. I think privacy is overrated anyway. Unlike the cypherpunks, I think privacy and secrecy are just two words for the same thing. If we have a trend toward less privacy and more secrecy, it's just part of the larger trend of the balance of power (especially in the form of quality information) in society shifting even farther from individuals to institutions. But that's just my opinion. Anyway, I like the idea of being on the receiving end of information technology, whether it's surveillance video, cookies, the phone line clause in a small dish satellite TV contract, or a dupermarket loyalty card.
LoriZ, Dec 11 2001


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