Yes, You are Being Watched

By Peter Coffee  |  Posted 2001-06-25

Its perfectly logical that a public space should be viewable online by anyone whod like to know whats happening there. Even so, I felt a transient chill when I spotted this sign ("Activities in this Auditorium are streamed to the IBM Internet and are often recorded.") at the entrance of an auditorium at IBMs Almaden research facility.

Combined with the smart-card badges that were issued to meeting attendees and the wireless-networked card-reader devices that checked us all into each session, I found myself thinking, "You asked for it; you got it."

We have pervasive networking; we have real-time collaboration with a worldwide community. Socially, I wonder if were ready.

The government of Alberta has produced a "Guide to Using Surveillance Cameras in Public Areas" (search the Web for that exact phrase). These guidelines may help in avoiding costly misunderstandings.

Rocket Fuel