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To the bonfire of personal privacy…

Ah, digital privacy. First off, I am not attacking the points made in the comment. They are correct in the statement of the laws existing today around the concept of images and who owns them. I want to point out that there are some people in public life, that would argue the reality of who owns that image is one that needs to be evaluated.

The laws were written around the appearance of a person in public. The laws loosely, I won’t go into the details, allow for the capture of images in public of people. If you are in a public place and someone takes a picture, they own that image. Again, if you ask many celebrities throughout the world, they would argue that point. I do note that this is the existing law; my posts are intended to bring up and sponsor a conversation about those laws. I have many friends who are brilliant photographers. They take amazing pictures. When the laws were created, the intent was to make it easier to capture images and share them. The reality is that the law was written at a different time. First off, no government allows embedded reporters to share all the images of a battlefield. They, the government, censor the images taken. Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media sites reserve the right to remove any photograph they deem not meeting their ethical or moral rules. The reality is that while the photographer may own the image, sharing that picture may not be acceptable.

These laws were written roughly 10-15 years ago. They have been updated, but in fact, they are not up-to-date. My concern, my issue, and feel that my privacy is being violated comes from the reality I shared first in the last post and now expanded in this post. First of all, let me remind everyone that you are being watched. The television show “Person of Interest” started with that line at the beginning of every show. “You are being watched.” It is clear to me that my freedom is being assailed. Why? Laws written in the time of 1, 2, or even three cameras taking and keeping my image, have remained the same. But now there are a billion cell phones, thousands of selfie drones, and millions upon millions of surveillance cameras taking and keeping my image. From my house around the neighborhood we live in, and back to my house, we encounter 44 cameras. Most of those track motion so, us walking by triggers them.

It’s time for the laws to change. It is time for the never-blinking eye of Sauron we call cameras to be turned off. I do understand the reality of crime. I do understand the reality of news photography. At the time the laws were written, the concept of privacy was being protected while allowing for creativity. I do not have a problem with someone taking pictures in a public square, and my image is captured. They are welcome to that, by law. I am more concerned with the million other cameras that are capturing my image. We are being watched, and at this point, we have no voice in what the watchers are doing with the images.

There is an old saying, “Who will guard the guardians,” and it comes from Rome and the Praetorian Guard. A group that overthrew a couple of emperors and replaced them with someone else. You can look up the many posts on Virily about Roman Emperors to read more on the topic. The guardians now have legal protection in capturing and keeping images. Frankly, that violates my privacy. I think it is time to change the law about security footage to say if a crime hasn’t been committed, security footage must be deleted in 30-45 days. Selfie drones will also require modification of the laws. If you disrupt the park or outdoor experience of others with your drone, then you must cease.

I don’t want a police state. Ever. If we don’t nip the expansion of camera’s around us soon, or limit what can be done with the information soon, we are going to have a lot of police states in the world. I also see a time coming soon when my image may not be my image.


What do you think?

20 points

Written by DocAndersen

One fan, One team and a long time dream Go Cubs!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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  1. I think most of us already live in what are effectively police states by some measures. The U.S. already has what is apparently the highest incarceration rate per capita and the most CCTV cameras per capita of any country in the world. That means it ranks higher than every state that would be called a police state. Many other Western democracies are not that far behind.

    • it is a two-sided argument. you’ve presented one side well. First off, the reality of all those CCTV cam3eras is who owns them and then the legal requirement of a subpoena to use them.

      The police cannot walk into a store without a crime have been committed and ask for video from their cameras.
      if the owner says no. the police are required to have a subpoena.

      The reality is those millions of cameras have prevented many crimes and solved many crimes as well.

        • Ah now you are getting into my world.
          If you follow good security, the likelihood of hacks are less.

          The vast majority of cameras are useless. Even in a situation where the video produces useful information, 90% or more of the feed is thrown away.

          • The biggest problem with security is, of course, the operator of the technology. The best firewalls and protections in the world don’t help if you hand the information over to someone emailing/ringing you.

            Yes, that magical “enhance button” so favoured of crime shows does not exist. If the data isn’t there, it isn’t there.

  2. In this age, privacy no longer matters anymore. With our smart phones we’re still being surveyed. How we shop, which things we like to search on the internet, what we do and where we live. These electronic devices are useful but they can be abused.

  3. So very true and they all call it progress but where are we progressing to? I started writing online in the early 2000s now when I Google my own name I am amazed at all the pops up. It is like I have made my home online.

    • Freedom becomes an interesting word, then doesn’t it.

      my argument is that today, we still have privacy (Apple refused to open a labeled terrorist iPhone in the US for the FBI)

      Does Apple have the ability to do so? did they embed a backdoor?

      if they put a back door in, we have no privacy. If as they have publically there is no back door, we have privacy still.

  4. You said it right! I often take pictures of the ocean, well I cannot tell people to MOVE over and let me snap my photos! Every store you walk into, smile your on camera. every telephone pole has a camera on top and if need be the police or any agency can tap that line and watch a house, who comes and goes.

    But as for me and my camera I will keep snapping photos as long as I am allowed.

  5. I know rights to what is considered personal privacy vary greatly from country to country.
    Unless I am in, or dealing with one whose human rights are appalling or non-existent, at least for the common man… or should that now be person? I do not tend to consider them too much.
    After reading this that could be considered naive, but I am of the opinion that personal privacy is actually only an illusion now.
    All of our details are ‘out there’ somewhere, if not everywhere. I believe that your own country has your details stored away, right down to the colour of your underwear. This is also a higher probability intimate knowledge of your life is on the databases of Russian, North Korean and Chinese computers.
    BUT that is the least of your worries. Because everything the assorted governments know about you pale into insignificance compared to the web of within the global corporate world.
    So, who has my image, my works, my health records and sexual preferences… truth is, I no longer care… and that is the key for the common man whose image is not a marketing tool. If you don’t care, there is no power or mileage it who knows or sees. It’s a ‘Publish and be damned’ scenario.
    I do not mean to sound like a conspiracy theorist.. just airing a point of view!


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