It’s an old topic, long discussed, and for that reason somewhat boring / repetitive. But I think new intelligent video analytics and facial recognition technology are about to make this extremely relevant again.
There’s no question in my mind that we, as a society, as going to trade public privacy (e.g., being monitored in public all the time) for safety. If the DC Sniper incident happens again, we’ll have drones over every major city. But two points:
- The privacy of our homes continues to be relatively secure, apart from the voice-control and IoT devices we voluntarily invite inside. Will that change? I don’t see any need for safety purposes.
- Will the additional security change the debate on gun control? If we as a society (i.e. the government) know exactly where you are and what you’re doing every time you step outside, does it matter that you have an arsenal inside your home? So long as it stays there…
And I often think of the aphorism attributed to Ben Franklin:
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
Still relevant? Of course, like many old quotes, this one is often thrown about without any understanding of its context.
On balance, I lean towards freedom to deploy technology and catch law breakers. And freedom to own firearms. Safety and liberty?