A recent USA Today article sums up our modern privacy dilemma with one sentence: “With tiny tech, a video little brother is always watching”.
From the article —
Welcome to the era of citizen journalism.
“Video empowers the individual against big brother,” says Jeffrey Cole, director of the Center for the Digital Future at the University of Southern California.
“Little brother is now watching back,” says Silicon Valley futurist Paul Saffo.
Citizens have been videotaping police and other incidents for more than a decade. One of the most notorious was the Rodney King beating in Los Angeles in 1991.
But these days it doesn’t just happen piecemeal; taking videos and uploading them to the Internet is all the rage, thanks to tiny, inexpensive cameras, often embedded in cellphones, and the homemade video boom online.
When Richards started ranting at the comedy club last month, a patron went for his camera, a small Canon Powershot, says Harvey Levin of TMZ.com, the celebrity website that posted the video. Levin will not say whether TMZ paid for the video. He says the patron never planned on taking it and wants to remain anonymous.
“People would ordinarily never think of getting a shot off of their camera and sending it to someone like me when they’re eating at a deli and suddenly Paris Hilton walks in,” Levin says. “It’s created an army of passive paparazzi.
“It’s not that everybody has a camera. It’s that everybody has a cellphone and the cellphones all have cameras now.”
Call it cell-veillance.