With the development of the virtual revolution, a whole array of new technologies have become available to us. In this particular entry I would like to focus on the advancements in security equipment. With the level of computer controlled surveillance we now have, your every move can be captured on camera. From going to the shops, to walking the dog to driving home from work at night. But is all this really necessary?
A few films have been made based on this concept of constantly being watched; ‘1984’ – originally a book by George Orwell – and ‘Minority Report’. They explore the idea of what our life could be like and is turning into, under this constant surveillance. In fact, the description for Minority Report is “In the future, criminals are caught before the crimes they commit.”
Now if you think about these story lines in relation to our society today, you can see the truth in that statement. With all these new technologies being developed for our safety, is it getting to the point where it’s invading our privacy? They’re expecting everyone to be capable of committing a crime, or attempting to commit a crime even when they have the most innocent of intentions. Women now even face difficulty in taking something as essential as baby food aboard a plane. In airports they are now introducing full body scanners so they are able to see a ‘naked’ image of you. Sure, that aids in preventing security threats, but is it a step too far?
Then there’s the government identification cards they planned to introduce. This caused much debate, as many people were concerned about how much data the government would be holding on you; fingerprints, face and iris scans, national insurance number, addresses of all places of residences within their lifetime – all within one database. Why does the government feel the need to hold so much information on every individual? Again, this seems to me to be almost accusing people of crimes before they’d even done anything. However, the new government axed this scheme earlier in the year. There were too many complaints (and rightly so in my opinion) of it being an ‘infringement of civil liberties’. Still, its scary to think how easily they can get ahold of information on you.