Re: Fw: Today's Headlines from Wednesday, July 4, 2001

From: Steve Davies (
Date: Wed Jul 04 2001 - 08:07:26 MDT

-----Original Message-----
From: Tiberius Gracchus <>
To: <>
Date: 04 July 2001 13:36
Subject: Re: Fw: Today's Headlines from Wednesday, July 4, 2001

>On Wed, 4 Jul 2001 11:19:25 +0100, you wrote:
>>Yet another scary news item. Steve Davies
>>>Tampa Scans the Faces in Its Crowds for Criminals
>>>The Tampa police are using three dozen security cameras
>>>equipped with face-recognition software to search for
>>>criminal suspects among people in a downtown district.
>What is so bad about this idea?

I can think of several problems (quite apart from the general issue of an
"expectation of privacy" which was alluded to). 1. The story implies that
the faces being looked out for are those of "known criminals". Anyone with a
knowledge of the criminal justice system knows that is an increasingly
slippery/elastic notion. Here in Britain there is the wonderfully plastic
category of "known to the police" - surveillance of tis kind is bound to
extend its scope, given the institutional and other incentives faced by law
enforcers. 2. This use of technology can be misused in all sorts of obvious
and dangerous ways by goverments and law enfocement agencies. Of course you
are free to believe the police would never misuse their power, or that
governments are completely benign institutions, but then I would soon expect
to see flights of migrating pigs.Steve Davies

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