Does the way in which we respond to changes in the use of technology reflect our culture?
Is there anything to worry about?
Let’s start with a few questions...
What happens when you put facial recognition towers up in Hong Kong?
The citizens tear them down in protest.
What happens when you install speed cameras in remote French villages?
The locals fire bomb then in disapproval.
What happens when you increase ‘stop and search’ in the UK’s inner cities?
People shrug their shoulders and move on with their lives...
It is certainly true that whilst no one can moan like the great British public, when it comes to direct action and protest, we tend to lag behind our European and global counterparts.
Of course, the UK wide rioting that was sparked following the death of Mark Duggan, and the recent climate change protests by Extinction Rebellion might seem to dispel that fact, but in general, the UK tends to have a less veracious and violent reaction to perceived injustices.
As we continue to live in uncertain times with unknown threats rearing their heads every single day, the governments of the world are finding more and more reason to use technology to monitor the activity of their citizens.
Whether it’s through the monitoring of online activity, observing social media use, or by the constant stream of CCTV images, there can be little doubt that we are all being watched, for at least some of the time.
There are typically two ways of looking at this.
Either we accept it as a part of life, and adopt the attitude that if there’s nothing to hide, why should we worry about it.
Or we see it as an invasion of privacy, as the state going too far in its efforts to keep tabs on people.
The recent protest in Hong Kong, alluded to in the introduction, saw citizens firmly place themselves in camp number 2, against. Facial recognition towers were jubilantly pulled down as citizens decided it was a step too far.
Would the people of London, Birmingham or Manchester have responded in the same way?
Does that mean we’re generally more compliant as a culture?
Are we just a bunch of wimps?
This discussion is open to all.
What are your thoughts on surveillance by the government?
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