EFF's first VR app trains you to spot surveillance devices in your community

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/11/05/street-level-surveillance.html


I have my issues with surveillance, although it is hardly my number one concern. What staggers me, however, is the degree to which my contemporaries appear to have completely accepted it as not only normal but as desirable.

In community discussion groups pn FB (I know, I know… FB!) homeowners repeatedly post asking about installing cameras on their porches, and others who have done so laud the necessity of them. Other parents tell me, quite sincerely, that although they worry about screentime, the upside to giving their kid an iphone at 12 is that they can track them.

This is what surprises me. I am disturbed that Toronto is switching to a transit card that tracks your activity (and links to to you). I am disturbed by the ubiquity of video monitoring in cities like London. (I am not that disturbed though by cameras at intersections to penalize motorists who blow through the light).

It is worth questioning the tradeoffs when such surveillance is installed, for sure. But given the degree to which almost all of my (reasonably intelligent and educated) peers appear to absolutely embrace surveillance in their own lives, I worry that the battle for hearts and minds has already been lost.


I’m of the same mind on everything except porches. If people want to put cameras on their own property, I don’t mind one way or the other.

(Also, being able to track people by phone is AMAZING sometimes, but not so much if that person doesn’t have a choice in it. Even kids, once past a certain age need to be able to go places without their parents being aware every second.)

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