Thursday, February 5, 2015


The new year has brought with it a hectic schedule of work, academics and the continual juggling of   family commitments. Polemic and Paradox remains a passion - but it is not the priority. Not only is P&P suffering but getting to read, getting to the gym and catching the news is becoming increasingly challenging.

Just how out of the loop I was yesterday hit home while sitting at Jungle Jim's over a cold India catching up on the latest Knights of Columbus news with my buddy Ray when the dramatic dash video of that Taiwanese plane crashing into the Taipei River splashed on the screen.

A number of Taiwanese drivers captured the moment TransAsia flight GE235 crashed, nearly clipping a building, scraping a car and then dropping out of sight. Wow!

I have often said a  single picture or a political cartoon is worth 1,000 words or news articles. The value of video is harder to quantify. Video does not suffer from faulty or misleading first-person observation. These Dash cams capture events, crashes, poor driving habits in a way that was once limited to people's perspectives alone. The video captured can not only determine who is at fault but it can be used to correct bad behavior.

I have to admit the idea of having nearly everything we do monitored by a camera or internet monitoring device is really unnerving. Others say If I am not doing anything wrong, what odds about it. I still have privacy and trust concerns with big brother watching my every move.  

However, like enhanced security curbs shoplifting, more cameras on the road might make drivers follow the rules of the road more often and to monitor their own actions more closely. It can change behavior for the good. Often people react differently when they know they are being watched. Dash cams can back-up a drivers version of events.
Imagine the information that a trucking fleet or a courier company using dash, or people cams, could amass our every day routines and habits. 

What is the value added for companies and governments? What are the limits of privacy? Do we have a reasonable expectation of privacy outside of our bedrooms anymore?

What are the potential returns vs the potential intrusions?

No comments: