Tuesday, December 28, 2004

They're watching and know who you are

Part two of the weeklong series of articles on privacy issues by Canwest reporter Richard Foot has been published in the Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Vancouver Sun, etc. This part is on surveillance and the possibility of pervasive surveillance being coupled with facial recognition software.

They're watching you, and they know who you are (Ottawa Citizen):

"Biometric face recognition is about to change the way governments do business, and could remove our last shreds of anonymity, writes Richard Foot.

Richard Foot
The Ottawa Citizen

December 28, 2004

In London, Ont., 16 video cameras mounted on traffic poles keep a 24-hour watch on downtown streets for the city's police. In New York City, more than 2,400 outdoor video cameras -- many operated by private companies -- gaze out over the streets of Manhattan alone.

'No matter what, walking through the world these days, you're going to end up on video camera,' says David Fraser, a Halifax privacy lawyer.

Public surveillance isn't a new phenomenon, but despite its creeping presence, Canadians have maintained a measure of anonymity when we venture outside our homes. Video cameras might be watching us in public places, but unless we're famous or infamous, they usually can't identify who we are.

Until now...."

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