Monday, April 28, 2014

AMERICA - Are We Living in George Orwell's '1984' Society

NOTE:  Chula Vista, CA, San Diego County, is the city just north of where I live (South San Diego).

George Orwell, novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four"

IMHO:  You do NOT have expectation of privacy in public areas, which includes streets and highways, nor should you.

"With power of facial recognition and high-tech surveillance, where to draw the line between safety and spying?" (Part-1) PBS NewsHour 4/25/2014


JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  During the past year, we have learned a lot about the U.S. government’s surveillance program.

But those efforts are not limited to the National Security Agency.  Local law enforcement agencies are also gathering and mining unprecedented amounts of data.  Privacy advocates worry police can use this information to track anyone at any time without a warrant.

The Center for Investigative Reporting, in partnership with KQED San Francisco, has been looking into these new tools for fighting crime.

The center’s Amanda Pike has this report.

AMANDA PIKE, Center for Investigative Reporting:  Officer Rob Halverson of the Chula Vista Police Department is testing the technology that could change how police fight crime.

He’s on a call to verify the identity of a woman just arrested for possession of narcotics.  He doesn’t need to ask her name or check her I.D.  He just takes her picture.

OFFICER ROB HALVERSON, Chula Vista Police Department:  Just look here, please.

AMANDA PIKE:  His tablet uses facial recognition software to find the suspect’s mug shot and criminal history.

OFFICER ROB HALVERSON:  You can lie about your name.  You can lie about your date of birth.  You can lie about your address, but tattoos, birthmarks, scars don’t lie.

AMANDA PIKE:  Police have access to more data than ever before, raising questions about how that information is used and stored.  The tablet is part of a pilot program in San Diego County.

OFFICER ROB HALVERSON:  It’s been very helpful.  And some people just have to have the threat of, OK, you don’t want to tell us who you are?  We are just going to take a photo and we’re going to be able to compare.  And then when people kind of realize the technology we now have, they’re more likely to tell us their real name in that.

AMANDA PIKE:  More and more, police are using biometrics, biological markers from face scans and palm prints, in addition to fingerprints, to identify suspects.

"New surveillance techniques raise privacy concerns" (Part-2) PBS NewsHour 4/26/2014


SUMMARY:  A report from the Center for Investigative Reporting and KQED delves into a wide-scale surveillance system being developed for police forces.  How can the trade off between safety and privacy be negotiated as technology gets more and more sophisticated?

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