Empowering People with Cameras

nym | 12:44 PM

Great bit about Howard Rheingold's article over at The Feature.com called "Inverse Surveillance".

...He is suggesting, in response to all the flack cameraphones gets with regard to privacy issues, "that they be used used as "inverse surveillance", allowing the public to snoop on the snoops and watch the watchers...

Now that millions of us walk the streets with cameras in our telephones while authorities and theorists freak out about the privacy implications, has anybody stopped to think that our privacy was compromised long ago by the hundreds of surveillance cameras that capture our images without our permission every day?

Has anybody stopped to think that cameras in the hands of citizens � cameras capable of sending their images directly from the street to the web � might present an opportunity to turn surveillance around, to invert the whole notion that we are watched at all times by invisible police, security guards, and other snoops? In fact, somebody has.

Steve Mann's ideas of citizen "sousveillance" predated the cameraphone phenomena by nearly a decade.

People will empower themselves with cameras. Suddenly the term "Flash Mob" can mean something entirely different.