“Every time you ride your bike down this block, there are probably 50 cameras that watch you going past,” said a California mother to her 7-year-old son. “If you make a bad choice, those cameras will catch you.”
This is one of the powerful nuggets from an investigative piece by Drew Harwell in The Washington Post.
He writes that “the proliferation of the kind of surveillance cameras once limited primarily to airports, banks and convenience stores also has meant millions of unsuspecting people – including camera owners’ neighbors, peaceful protestors, and anyone else walking down a residential block – are being recording without their knowledge or consent.”
Ring also has its own social network, Neighbors, the very system that caught the 7-year-old throwing a foam volleyball that harmlessly bounced off a neighbor’s security camera. More than 70 people, Harwell reports, formed opinions about appropriate punishments for the boy and commented on the mother’s parenting skills. Turns out the panopticon is being run by nosy neighbors rather than jailers.
While the Ring system has helped solve crimes, from porch pirates to homicides, something this pervasive has a troubling, if less visible, cost. Once again, Americans are becoming inured to another technology taking away more of our privacy.