Are You Being Watched?

There are two ways to look at this technology tip:
Looking#1 - Wow, isn't it amazing . . . how we can use the internet to explore the whole world and see video of what people are doing in real time?
big brother#2 - Wow, isn't is scarry . . . how anyone in the whole world can use the internet to see video of what you're doing in real time?
We'll try #1 first. Why not try visiting a beach in sunny Florida for a quick break? Or how about visiting the beaches in ArubaCalifornia or watch surfers in Hawaii?
How about some live streaming video from any of these cities around the world?
IstanbulTimes SquareSydney
These and many more live streaming webcams at: EarthCam.com
And yes, these are all live streaming webcams from all around the world and you can easily spend the rest of your day just watching the rest of the world through the internet. It can be fascinating to watch as whole cities wake up on one side of the world while the same sun sets on scenic mountaintops on the other side of the world.
Traffic CamBut that's not all. How about watching the traffic inBudapestHawaii, or Maryland in the U.S. These traffic cameras that are mounted along roads all around the world not only allow us to watch traffic but they're being used to actually analyse traffic patterns, monitor vehicles, catch criminals who are on the run and even catch speeders. Here's a website that shows you where all the speed trap cameras are in Ireland for example. In the United States many police departments use license plate recognition cameras can be used to track drivers throughout their juristiction all day, every day. Cameras used for security purposes in cities like London are also being used to carefully track criminals as well as law abiding citizens. And of course cameras have been used for years by private retailers to catch shoplifters, petty thieves and even wayward employees.

All this surveillance has raised some privacy concerns. Generally speaking, you didn't have a reasonable expectation of privacy in public places in the past. Now you can generally assume that you are being video recorded just about every public place you go. For most people this isn't a problem and they are getting used to being watched all the time. however, exactly how it will be used in the future is still uncertain and there is the potential for abuse. So stay alert and start paying attention to how many times you are on camera each day. It's probably a lot more than you think.

PRACTICE ACTIVITY:   For the rest of the day try to count the number of cameras that are recording you.


TO KEEP ON LEARNING:  If you'd like to learn more about streaming webcams and security cameras try searching for:

Webcams and privacy
Streaming video
Security cameras