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Forum Post: Stealing

Posted 10 years ago on March 31, 2013, 1:11 p.m. EST by windyacres (1197)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

My convenience store, now closed, had an expensive 16 camera surveillance system. Picture quality was excellent and were used several times by police for various reasons and many instances of customers and employees stealing. I was watching my cameras from home one night and noticed the cooler door had been left open. The clerk was impressed because I was not even there but could tell her to take care of the only customer in the store, then run to the back and close the door. It's possible the door could have been left open all night, not good. Having the cameras was a good thing. Having the cameras were an essential item, period, because of stealing.

Sometimes employees would come back to my office and I realized they were staring at what could be seen on the camera's monitor by someone in my office. I had to prevent them from learning where the blind spots were in the camera system, for it was important that they didn't know. The best feeling they could have was to assume they could be seen by a camera at all times, and they could be free to work without the temptation to steal.

Grasp for a moment how much survelliance happens and is recorded, from all stores to car cams and cell phones. We all have an uneasy feeling that our privacy will continue to decline..

It's been easy to understand how having a helicopter on scene of a disaster, and many other situations, is crucial for the people on the ground to know what's happening. It's very valuable. Thus the use of drones which are safer and much less expensive is inevitable.

Robots with cameras are also inevitable, as are more fixed cameras like exists at traffic intersections.

The future will be determined to a great degree by who has control of the cameras, and we the people must insist on transparency and accountability of those whose job is to manage this and all surveillance. Not so that we can learn where the blind spots are, but so we can be assured that equal safety and privacy applies to all.

I propose camera systems in every government office, available freely to anyone to watch. This includes the offices where those whose job is working with the camera systems. I have watched many hours of video and there are few things as boring as watching someone work, but recordings could also be available and specific recordings could be found quickly. It would not be difficult at all! I'm certainly just as adamant that we protect the privacy of suveillance of our homes, another awesome reason for transparency of the cameras.

Why should I expect the people who work on our behalf for our government to not need to be monitored by camera systems?

If we enter the public, we might be on camera.... we already are..



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[-] 1 points by Narley (272) 10 years ago

It’s about to get much worse with surveillance drones coming into play. I predict that in ten years privacy will be a thing of the past.

[-] 1 points by windyacres (1197) 10 years ago

We hopefully still have the choice to make surveillance the best of two choices. We the people can scream that we don't want drones or we can insist on complete transparency and control of a tool that may be one of the significant inventions ever.

If it's politcally unpopular to make them legal, it will be done illegally anyway. This is why I believe our only real choice is to accept their existence but passionately insist that secrecy is not the way to go here, power to the people instead.

[-] 1 points by Narley (272) 10 years ago

I believe surveillance cameras serve a purpose. The trick is to know where to draw the line between monitoring for criminal activity and just spying on people under the heading of security.

The Austin, TX police recently used drones to monitor activities at the new Formula 1 Grand Prix race track. They said it was for traffic control. There was a TV news story interviewing the owners of the company who supplied the drones for the event. The story showed about six or seven drone types, from high flying stealth types to small bird size that could dart about like a hummingbird. The story said they said they supply both government and civilian customers. Fort Worth, TX police recently purchased a couple of drones to monitor traffic, or so they say.

Texas A&M University has a drone R&D program. There were complaints from students about drones flying around campus. Administration said they were testing off-campus and were not monitoring anyone.

The point is drones are here and available to anyone who can afford them. The law governing drone use has not caught up with the actual use. I predict in ten years drones will be thick as birds.

[-] 2 points by windyacres (1197) 10 years ago

I believe drones are with us forever, they can't be put back in the box. My point is drone or any survelliance should not be a secret. We the people must insist that privacy in non public areas is secured in a reasonable way. Transparency and accountability is desirable in all areas of government, but this would be the nail in the coffin if fascists are allowed to control these drones. Any government money, for example, should be able to be accounted for and technology makes that possible. Again, technology makes accountability possible. We probably don't have much time to save our privacy. Action required now!

Drones as thick as birds, quite possibly. Drone potential could be a mavelous thing, but not if it's allowed to be secretive.


[-] 1 points by windyacres (1197) 10 years ago

There was truly a perceived need for cameras in my store, and almost every store has them. Customers and employees steal too much. We can accept it as accomplished fact. It's not the ideal but it does in fact give a form of freedom from temptation, in addition to being very helpful for many other purposes. The supervisory staff should have cameras on them and everyone be accountable. We seem to have a problem with our regulators and our Justice Dept., shine the light on it and let us see. Ideally it would be an extremely boring thing to watch.

The cameras are and will be powerful tools, we must not allow fascists to have control of them.

Your last paragraph is a good description and I would include direct misinformation to your list for the long term prognosis of freedom. The freedom you and I experienced as children is different and mostly gone. The freedom of privacy when not in public will need to be important for us to insist is a basic right, an acceptable freedom, otherwise we won't be free at all.