1 simple step to avoid being on the losing side of the surveillance explosion

These days it seems like there are cameras everywhere. In the banks, in the schools, in the grocery stores, even on the street corners!  Some people complain that there are too many cameras and that our privacy is at stake, while others state that cameras improve safety and accountability. Both sides may have a point in this matter; which one pertains to YOU depends on certain actions you take.


To understand this, it is important to realize how these two types of opinion come about? First, it is important to realize that both these groups have different opinions on the effects that cameras have on society, not on what cameras are, or what they do. Both groups in the middle of this debate know that surveillance is an incredibly power tool. That power is what makes the opinion on both sides. The power, specifically, is to record information and use it to some advantage.


To the people who don’t want surveillance everywhere, its use often represents the influence of groups they don’t like or are historically distrustful of. These people often feel like surveillance is used to the advantage of the powerful in order to prey on the weak. They see the use of surveillance as a way in which they are disempowered at the hands of others.


On the other hand, those who seek to solve social problems via surveillance imagine it as a sort of objective force that dutifully copies down reality for use in court cases, crime reduction, civil litigation, and improving transparency within organizations. They view surveillance as a valuable tool they wield to improve their lives, increase their competitive advantage, and control risk.


Both groups recognize the power of surveillance; indeed both sides have very strong feelings on the matter. Both sides know that surveillance is a game changer. The only difference between the sides is what end of the camera they are on.


Those wielding cameras have a tremendous information advantage, while those being filmed do not. With cameras now distributed in smaller and smaller packages (think of your cellphone), you and your property can be filmed at almost any time. Cameras don’t always tell the truth, only the version of the truth they capture. Different camera angles can show very different stories.


Now, it’s not good to be paranoid, but it is good to be prudent. You can never tell if you will be involved in some sort of dispute or he said/she said situation that takes place in your business or club or foundation. What you DO know, is that if one occurs, and you don’t have active surveillance, the other party will likely have information advantage. Court cases rely on evidence. Without it, you’re just another person telling their story to judge Judy.


The only way to ensure that you are at least as documented as any other party is to build your own surveillance system. Everybody else has ‘em, you need to as well. Fortunately, that is easy these days. There is a reason that you now need cameras just to keep up with others: Surveillance is now incredibly cheap which is why everyone is buying. Think of it like computers. In the late 80’s only big companies and interested individuals had computers because they were so expensive. Now, you can get a low end machine for less than $400. The same pattern is holding true for surveillance technologies today. Since cost has now fallen below the point where everyone can afford them, surveillance systems are popping up all over the US, further reducing cost, and increasing their impact.


Make surveillance technology work for you. Keep on the right side of the cameras by having your own.

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