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November 29, 2006
The ubiquity of public surveillance cameras — the dark side of our modern world's lens culture — means that the typical pedestrian in London today can be photographed anonymously as many as 300 times per day. According to a report in the BBC, Britain leads the world in the number of CCTV surveillance cameras per capita: 14.2 million cameras, or about one camera for every 14 people.
It's a double edged-sword, of course. These cameras capture the actions of kidnappers, terrorists, wreckless drivers, and other criminals. But they also capture — and store — the actions of everyone else in the process. Big Brother-style watching has never been more intense, and the trend continues upwards.
It would be interesting to hear comments from readers about this kind of involuntary surveillance, and also to see sociological and/or art projects that take advantage of this kind of technology, as well.