Bilton introduces the phenomenon of strangers clandestinely snapping photos of each other, and coworkers recording each other’s every move, all from the convenience of their smartphones. The author then looks to find a way to counter these unwanted invasions of privacy.
In searching for methods to fight non-consented surveillance, Bilton spoke with a number of security experts, including BrickHouse CEO Todd Morris, who offered a dose of present-day reality.
“Short of wearing a stocking over your head, or a fake mustache, there isn’t a way for someone in a crowd to inconspicuously avoid having pictures taken of them,” Mr. Morris said. “In these instances we will have to use technology to fight technology at the server level by creating algorithms that say ‘Do not post this picture of me on Google.’ ”
Bilton spoke to other experts who spoke more theoretically about the future of counter surveillance. For example, Tony Fadell, founder of Nest Labs, envisioned a cloaking mechanism that would shower the user in white noise — which would hinder audio recording, but wouldn’t affect video or photo surveillance.
As Morris points out, at this stage in our technological evolution, if you’re in a public place, you can and will be photographed. But who knows what the future will bring for those looking to remain unseen.
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Image by PierreSelim (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons