Photo courtesy of pinelife
CNN is reporting in this article, that regulations have been put in place that require U.S. car manufacturers to inform owners about the presence of sensor suites in vehicles which record context in the moments before a crash:
“Some privacy advocates have expressed concern that the data, which can be used as evidence in court cases, is being collected without the knowledge of vehicle owners and drivers.
The devices are virtually impossible to disable because their functioning is so tightly integrated with vehicle safety systems such as airbags and anti-lock brakes.”
I wonder if this solution can actually scale to all the environments in which future recording will take place? How can someone be effectively informed of all the different types of surveillance which are being performed on them? Furthermore, what can someone who objects to the surveillance really do? In this case it is still possible to buy a car without a recorder, but what about where alternatives aren’t available? If you don’t want to be video-captured when withdrawing cash from an ATM, do you have a choice?
Gaetano Borriello has a well-thought out solution to this problem. It requires all surveillance technology to broadcast meta-information about where they are, what they are collecting and the actual information being captured. I can’t find a link to his manifesto, but the version I read was pretty compelling. If you are being surveilled you also get to use the surveillance data while you are an object of surveillance.
Such a solution would address the concerns associated with the car-recording device by broadcasting its presence on a universal broadcast medium. A concerned individual would be able to verify the existence, properties and accuracy of the car data recorder on their own. They still don’t really have a choice about the surveillance, but at least they have knowledge.
Submission deadline: October 20, 2006
“Interaction (n): a cyclic process in which two actors alternately listen, think, and speak.”
- Chris Crawford, from The Art of Interactive Design
Computer-Human Interaction is grounded in action