📑 Caught in the Spotlight

Bookmarked Caught in the Spotlight | Urban Omnibus (Urban Omnibus)

Rather than ease or eliminate friction, these technologies often increase feelings of unease, anxiety, and fear on the part of both the watcher and the watched. Inasmuch as those tensions (whether acknowledged or not) come from a fear of the other, more cameras, devices, tracking, alerts, and notifications will not deliver on their promises. Rather, these technologies will continue to fuel a negative feedback loop between individuals and communities on both ends of the surveillance spectrum, where the only real winners are the companies who profit from the fear they help to manufacture.

Chris Gilliard explores how technologies that track create different spatial experiences for users. He compares ankle monitors with fitness tracks, and discusses the panoptic nature of Ring Doorbells and Automated License Plate Readers

ALPRs tend to be hidden. However, like so many aspects of police surveillance, they are not a secret. In true panoptic fashion, the preponderance of ALPRs establishes the possibility that you are always being observed. And as with Ring, powerful and connected surveillance tech in the hands of “regular” citizens ramps up fear with constant notices of “invasions” by outsiders.

Gilliard reflects on the influence that such technology has on various situations.

In a technologically-created environment where “crime” becomes content, people will be moved to find crime.

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