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EstLladon
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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby EstLladon » Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:57 am UTC

Malice wrote:Could you explain how this will increase the availability of information? It's not as though Macy's is going to make its recordings public.

Processing that amount of video data requires a lot of computational power. Of course Macy's can build a huge ass-data center solely for marketing purposes but I doubt it will be profitable. If they ask somebody to process the data for them it is just as good as making it public.
Malice wrote:I never said they would. I said that if a particular law is unjust, people may inadvertently become criminals, and it is better if the tools to catch them are not perfect.

I think the better way is to make law-making system better that makes less unjust laws. And it will become better because of faster response to unjust laws.
Malice wrote:Also, I did not mean that this will lead to intolerance. I said it would make destructive actions based on intolerance easier. For example, if police officers had X-ray vision, it would allow them to search for people with stolen goods but it would also allow them to search for people with, say, a Koran in their house. Increasing invasion of privacy does not necessarily make the abuse of power more likely; it "merely" makes abuse of power more effective.

If somebody knows that I have a Koran in my house, they also know that I'm very unlikely to do something actually terroristic. How many of you guys will buy a Koran to fuck with feds?
Malice wrote:But what you're essentially saying is that civil disobedience becomes overwhelming as long as a large enough area of the population is motivated by personal danger. Ignoring the risk of this happening to smaller groups, my point is that as technology advances and privacy shrinks, the number of people required to successfully resist government oppression goes up.
EstLladon wrote:Why would somebody want to be a criminal?


I never said they would. I said that if a particular law is unjust, people may inadvertently become criminals, and it is better if the tools to catch them are not perfect.

I think that increasing accessability of information will increase tolerance to different races, sexual preferences etc. not decrease it.

Could you explain how this will increase the availability of information? It's not as though Macy's is going to make its recordings public.

Also, I did not mean that this will lead to intolerance. I said it would make destructive actions based on intolerance easier. For example, if police officers had X-ray vision, it would allow them to search for people with stolen goods but it would also allow them to search for people with, say, a Koran in their house. Increasing invasion of privacy does not necessarily make the abuse of power more likely; it "merely" makes abuse of power more effective.

These things can be criminalized only if only small fraction of people get caught on being for example gay. You cannot enforce anti-gay law against all 10%(or how much it really is) of population that are gay.


It's been done before. To use just one example, Americans enforced laws against the Japanese during World War II (using the technology and techniques available at the time to find the Japanese in order to force them into internment camps). There are plenty of others. You can target specific people, or squelch political dissent (look at what the SS did).

But what you're essentially saying is that civil disobedience becomes overwhelming as long as a large enough area of the population is motivated by personal danger. Ignoring the risk of this happening to smaller groups, my point is that as technology advances and privacy shrinks, the number of people required to successfully resist government oppression goes up.

I guess the history teaches us that trying to enforcing laws against big parts of your population is generally a bad and ineffective thing. And not everybody is motivated by personal danger. The needed number of people to resist is probably higher (though I do not think it is, since people can be more vocal and better organized with less restriction in information transfer and spreading) but it will be easier to obtain.
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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby T-Form » Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:26 pm UTC

EstLladon wrote:Why would somebody want to be a criminal? I think that increasing accessability of information will increase tolerance to different races, sexual preferences etc. not decrease it. These things can be criminalized only if only small fraction of people get caught on being for example gay. You cannot enforce anti-gay law against all 10%(or how much it really is) of population that are gay.

On the other hand, it'd be rather more viable to criminalise smaller groups such as trans people (let's be optimistic and say 0.1% of the population, since there aren't really any reliable figures). Furthermore, Nazi Germany did manage to murder a lot of people from some reasonably numerous groups, including gay people - so it's certainly possible (in a nation that had been considered one of the most advanced in the world only a few decades earlier, no less). As relevant as those concerns are, however, they don't really cover the core of the problem. You see, you don't need to actually prosecute every gay person. It's all about fear and coercive power - you target the visible people in the community, the academics, the political leaders, the activists. Enough surveillance allows the state (or, indeed, any entity with access to that information) to harass and incriminate anyone they want to - by reason of homosexuality or otherwise - so that few people will want to stand up to replace those community leaders and thereby make targets of themselves. The community crumbles, gay people become unable to communicate with each other, and they are thus defenceless against exploitation and abuse by the state, by businesses, and by individuals. The most effective way to control people is to isolate them, and surveillance is the most effective tool for doing that on a large scale.

EstLladon
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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby EstLladon » Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:43 pm UTC

T-Form wrote:On the other hand, it'd be rather more viable to criminalise smaller groups such as trans people (let's be optimistic and say 0.1% of the population, since there aren't really any reliable figures).

Not only gay people fight for gay rights. Every little group should support any other little group from being prosecuted. And I hope that this will lead to no group being prosecuted.
T-Form wrote:Furthermore, Nazi Germany did manage to murder a lot of people from some reasonably numerous groups, including gay people - so it's certainly possible (in a nation that had been considered one of the most advanced in the world only a few decades earlier, no less).

But wasn't it a bad idea? Why would a country be willing to be like nazis?
T-Form wrote:It's all about fear and coercive power - you target the visible people in the community, the academics, the political leaders, the activists. Enough surveillance allows the state (or, indeed, any entity with access to that information) to harass and incriminate anyone they want to - by reason of homosexuality or otherwise - so that few people will want to stand up to replace those community leaders and thereby make targets of themselves.

People should really stop fearing people that are different from them. Then goverment (or anybody) could not manipulate people as easy. Somebody who does not fear, but have information is better protected from wrongdoings.
T-Form wrote:The community crumbles, gay people become unable to communicate with each other, and they are thus defenceless against exploitation and abuse by the state, by businesses, and by individuals. The most effective way to control people is to isolate them, and surveillance is the most effective tool for doing that on a large scale.

Easier access to information will lead to better communication between people. People will communicate more, not less. You should not be able to punish people for communicating.
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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby Malice » Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:49 pm UTC

EstLladon wrote:
Malice wrote:Could you explain how this will increase the availability of information? It's not as though Macy's is going to make its recordings public.

Processing that amount of video data requires a lot of computational power. Of course Macy's can build a huge ass-data center solely for marketing purposes but I doubt it will be profitable. If they ask somebody to process the data for them it is just as good as making it public.


If they dump that data on the internet and say "hey guys process this" it becomes public. If they hire a data processing firm and make them sign NDAs it stays private.

Malice wrote:I never said they would. I said that if a particular law is unjust, people may inadvertently become criminals, and it is better if the tools to catch them are not perfect.

I think the better way is to make law-making system better that makes less unjust laws. And it will become better because of faster response to unjust laws.


I think the best way is to do both--ensure that the legal system doesn't make unjust laws, and ensure that if they do, they won't be able to break a group of people resisting them.

Malice wrote:Also, I did not mean that this will lead to intolerance. I said it would make destructive actions based on intolerance easier. For example, if police officers had X-ray vision, it would allow them to search for people with stolen goods but it would also allow them to search for people with, say, a Koran in their house. Increasing invasion of privacy does not necessarily make the abuse of power more likely; it "merely" makes abuse of power more effective.

If somebody knows that I have a Koran in my house, they also know that I'm very unlikely to do something actually terroristic. How many of you guys will buy a Koran to fuck with feds?


How many will look at people going to prison for having a book and get rid of any Korans in their house?

EstLladon wrote:
Malice wrote:
These things can be criminalized only if only small fraction of people get caught on being for example gay. You cannot enforce anti-gay law against all 10%(or how much it really is) of population that are gay.


It's been done before. To use just one example, Americans enforced laws against the Japanese during World War II (using the technology and techniques available at the time to find the Japanese in order to force them into internment camps). There are plenty of others. You can target specific people, or squelch political dissent (look at what the SS did).

But what you're essentially saying is that civil disobedience becomes overwhelming as long as a large enough area of the population is motivated by personal danger. Ignoring the risk of this happening to smaller groups, my point is that as technology advances and privacy shrinks, the number of people required to successfully resist government oppression goes up.

I guess the history teaches us that trying to enforcing laws against big parts of your population is generally a bad and ineffective thing. And not everybody is motivated by personal danger. The needed number of people to resist is probably higher (though I do not think it is, since people can be more vocal and better organized with less restriction in information transfer and spreading) but it will be easier to obtain.


Actually, history teaches us that trying to enforce laws against large parts of your population can be very effective, because as T-Form noted, you don't have to put everybody in prison, you just have to scare them into submission. Look at the way the KKK terrorized Southern blacks--very few people actually got lynched, but after awhile, the fear of being one of those few people is enough to keep a sizable population cowed. Look at how a minority white population managed to suppress a majority black population in South Africa for decades.
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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby 22/7 » Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:28 pm UTC

EstLladon, please take this in the way in which it is intended, but you're replying to peoples' issues with the increased possibility and effectiveness of oppression with statements like "I don't think people should be oppressed". It's a nice sentiment, and I think we'll all agree with you, but in reality saying something like "it'd be better if people didn't hate each other because of their differences" offers little or nothing to the discussion. To understand why, imagine for a second that you create a society that is identical to any number of previous totalitarian regimes in terms of the laws in effect, the reach and power of the police, the way that trials are carried out, the amount of information that is made available to the people, etc. Now imagine that the government structure isn't actually set up as a totalitarian regime, but rather a republic. Do you trust the guy in charge (the prime minister, president, whatever) to not step into the situation where, instead of having to run for reelection every 3 or 4 or 6 years, he can just seize power as a dictator, do whatever the hell he wants, become fabulously wealthy, and run the country (which he obviously wanted to do, as he ran for office in the first place) for as long as he wants? I certainly don't. Hell, I might take that gig was I to be in that position. Anything that takes us even a step closer to that original scenario, where it's essentially a totalitarian regime waiting to happen, is bad.

And to whoever was claiming that this is an issue of technology advancement,this is no more an issue of technology advancement than warrantless wiretapping.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby EstLladon » Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:28 pm UTC

Yeah, sorry I sometimes get carried away. But still your example is not what I was talking about. I do not think that at this point any first-world coutry will become more totalitarian then it is now without nuclear war. Totalitarian regimes are unstable and do not last, because fear is actually a bad base for a society. The general movement in the direction of less totalitarism in the world is not work of small number of brave people, but rather a natural global scale process. And if you live in a coutry that can turn to totalitarism it does not actually matters what kind of technology it uses, if it will you are fucked either way. Better surveilliance technology can not make countries more totalitarian. It is a completely different issue.
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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby 22/7 » Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:47 pm UTC

EstLladon wrote:Yeah, sorry I sometimes get carried away. But still your example is not what I was talking about. I do not think that at this point any first-world coutry will become more totalitarian then it is now without nuclear war. Totalitarian regimes are unstable and do not last, because fear is actually a bad base for a society. The general movement in the direction of less totalitarism in the world is not work of small number of brave people, but rather a natural global scale process. And if you live in a coutry that can turn to totalitarism it does not actually matters what kind of technology it uses, if it will you are fucked either way. Better surveilliance technology can not make countries more totalitarian. It is a completely different issue.
They're actually quite related. The better they are at keeping tabs on you, the harder it is to resist, because not only can you be certain they can see you resist (and so every uprising is outed in its infancy) but they know where you are all the time (and so every uprising is destroyed in its infancy).
Totally not a hypothetical...

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bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
Don't want to be.
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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby EstLladon » Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:31 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:They're actually quite related. The better they are at keeping tabs on you, the harder it is to resist, because not only can you be certain they can see you resist (and so every uprising is outed in its infancy) but they know where you are all the time (and so every uprising is destroyed in its infancy).

I highly doubt that you can so easy destroy it at infancy. If you have some radical thoughts and you post about them in a forum even if it can be tracked back to you it will be read by a lot of people. And if it will become known that you was prosecuted for that forum post it will very shortly be known by a lot of people. You cannot stop the signal.

You seem to speak a lot about violating human freedoms. I say that less privacy does not automatically lead to violating freedoms and can possibly lead to actually better protecting some of them.
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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby 22/7 » Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:54 pm UTC

EstLladon wrote:I highly doubt that you can so easy destroy it at infancy. If you have some radical thoughts and you post about them in a forum even if it can be tracked back to you it will be read by a lot of people. And if it will become known that you was prosecuted for that forum post it will very shortly be known by a lot of people. You cannot stop the signal.
In a totalitarian regime, do you honestly think that a forum post where you plot the overthrow of the government will last? And before you say that people would copy the post and repost it elsewhere, etc., remember that doing so gets you thrown in jail. Also remember that we're talking about the general motion in the direction of what is good for a totalitarian government, we're not saying that this will cause the government to start oppressing people or will automatically restrict human rights.
EstLladon wrote:You seem to speak a lot about violating human freedoms. I say that less privacy does not automatically lead to violating freedoms and can possibly lead to actually better protecting some of them.
Since privacy is a freedom here in the US, you'll understand if I disagree with you on the first part. As to the second, a very wise man once said "those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither."
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby Marbas » Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:05 pm UTC

You cannot stop the signal.


If telecom companies gave a crap, they could do that very easily.
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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby EstLladon » Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:06 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:In a totalitarian regime, do you honestly think that a forum post where you plot the overthrow of the government will last? And before you say that people would copy the post and repost it elsewhere, etc., remember that doing so gets you thrown in jail. Also remember that we're talking about the general motion in the direction of what is good for a totalitarian government, we're not saying that this will cause the government to start oppressing people or will automatically restrict human rights.

I said that if you live in a totalitarian regime you are fucked no matter what. And I said that it is good not only for totalitarian goverment. For example better flow of information can prevent countries from becoming totalitarian.
22/7 wrote:Since privacy is a freedom here in the US, you'll understand if I disagree with you on the first part. As to the second, a very wise man once said "those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither."

It seems to me that it is somehow secondary freedom given in order to protect more important ones. And I am not suggesting giving up any liberties - anyone should be able to be what he wants to be and do what he wants to do (if it does not affect others) and should not be prosecuted for that.
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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby 22/7 » Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:15 pm UTC

EstLladon wrote:I said that if you live in a totalitarian regime you are fucked no matter what.
And keeping things like extensive networks of private cameras from being installed is one step towards keeping such a regime from being able to hold power.
EstLladon wrote:And I said that it is good not only for totalitarian goverment. For example better flow of information can prevent countries from becoming totalitarian.
But you haven't addressed the fact that this is not the case here. The above would be true if the cameras were publicly accessible, but again, that is not the case here. So how would this scenario increase the flow of information?
EstLladon wrote:It seems to me that it is somehow secondary freedom given in order to protect more important ones.
See the Ben Franklin quote in my previous post. Once you start consenting to relieving yourself of the little liberties, it becomes that much easier for them to take the bigger ones (like free speech, right to assemble, etc.).
EstLladon wrote:And I am not suggesting giving up any liberties - anyone should be able to be what he wants to be and do what he wants to do (if it does not affect others) and should not be prosecuted for that.
First, yes, you are suggesting that. Here.
EstLladon wrote:It seems to me that it is somehow secondary freedom given in order to protect more important ones.
Second, you're right, everyone should be able to do what they want as long as they're not hurting anyone else and shouldn't be persecuted for it. The reality of the world, however, is that people are going to attempt to persecute other people and some of those people will attempt to do so through government. Making it easier for them to do so isn't something we'd like to invest time or money in.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby EstLladon » Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:24 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:And keeping things like extensive networks of private cameras from being installed is one step towards keeping such a regime from being able to hold power.

What about extensive networks of publicly accessable cameras?
22/7 wrote:But you haven't addressed the fact that this is not the case here. The above would be true if the cameras were publicly accessible, but again, that is not the case here. So how would this scenario increase the flow of information?

The more I think about it the more I think that we totally should make these things publicly accessable.
22/7 wrote:See the Ben Franklin quote in my previous post. Once you start consenting to relieving yourself of the little liberties, it becomes that much easier for them to take the bigger ones (like free speech, right to assemble, etc.).

I think that it is different from other liberties. If you take my property or discriminate me because of my religion or sexual preference I feel harm. If you are watching at me and analyzing what I am doing you are not harming me.
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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby 22/7 » Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:59 pm UTC

EstLladon wrote:
22/7 wrote:And keeping things like extensive networks of private cameras from being installed is one step towards keeping such a regime from being able to hold power.
What about extensive networks of publicly accessable cameras?
I personally wouldn't much like those, either, as it's simply a different nature of invasion. Now instead of only the government or large companies or the highest bidder knowing my business, everyone knows my business. If I live in a country with sexism, racism, or discrimination based on religion or sexual orientation or any other type of bigotry, this could be easily used to cause me harm. Additionally, if I'm trying to keep the government in check, me being able to meet in private without everyone else knowing who I'm meeting with and where and when and what we're talking about is a pretty big deal.
EstLladon wrote:The more I think about it the more I think that we totally should make these things publicly accessable.
That's the point, though. It's not up to you or to the people who live where these cameras would be in use. It's up to people whose interest it is in to not make these cameras publicly accessible.
EstLladon wrote:I think that it is different from other liberties. If you take my property or discriminate me because of my religion or sexual preference I feel harm. If you are watching at me and analyzing what I am doing you are not harming me.
And if you make my private life public, you make it easier for people who are going to discriminate anyway (be they in the private sector or the government themselves) to know who to discriminate against and where to find them, etc. Surely you see why it would be bad for gays if, in a homophobic society, what they did and where and when and with whom were all in some searchable database freely available to any homophobic person living in that homophobic society?
Totally not a hypothetical...

Steroid wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
Don't want to be.
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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby EstLladon » Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:31 pm UTC

I'm trying to argue that society with little privacy can not be really that homophobic. (And sexism has no place in this list because you cannot really be secretly a woman). A lot of homophobia is ignorance. With more information people be generally less ignorant.
22/7 wrote:That's the point, though. It's not up to you or to the people who live where these cameras would be in use. It's up to people whose interest it is in to not make these cameras publicly accessible.

Why would not Macy's make them publicly accessible? If all big stores will make them accessible they all benefit from it. Though it is kinda like the old joke that the world's stupidest man was the first buyer of a fax machine. If only one does that it harms him if everybody does this everybody benefits.
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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby 22/7 » Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:24 pm UTC

EstLladon wrote:I'm trying to argue that society with little privacy can not be really that homophobic. (And sexism has no place in this list because you cannot really be secretly a woman). A lot of homophobia is ignorance. With more information people be generally less ignorant.
Sexism certainly has a place on this list, and you certainly can secretly be a different gender than what you present to the world. I believe you could accurately apply the term transgendered to such a person. And how exactly will access to more information remove thousands of years of bigotry, discrimination and hatred?
EstLladon wrote:
22/7 wrote:That's the point, though. It's not up to you or to the people who live where these cameras would be in use. It's up to people whose interest it is in to not make these cameras publicly accessible.
Why would not Macy's make them publicly accessible? If all big stores will make them accessible they all benefit from it. Though it is kinda like the old joke that the world's stupidest man was the first buyer of a fax machine. If only one does that it harms him if everybody does this everybody benefits.
Because making it available for everyone else only helps others. Instead, they could keep the info for themselves or sell it to the highest bidder (or the info could be confiscated by a tyrannical government). It doesn't make any sense for them to foot the bill for the technology, the equipment, the installation and the operation for a public service, especially when the research created by it could make their advertising campaigns vastly superior to their competitors'.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby Sockmonkey » Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:49 pm UTC

Malice wrote:Actually, history teaches us that trying to enforce laws against large parts of your population can be very effective, because as T-Form noted, you don't have to put everybody in prison, you just have to scare them into submission. Look at the way the KKK terrorized Southern blacks--very few people actually got lynched, but after awhile, the fear of being one of those few people is enough to keep a sizable population cowed. Look at how a minority white population managed to suppress a majority black population in South Africa for decades.


Also, the harassment doesn't need to be any more than stricter enforcement of existing laws. Most of us are guilty of dozens of small infractions that we don't even notice. For example, how many of you drive differently around the end of the month when the cops are putting in the extra effort to make their ticket quotas? They can't get everyone but they can pretty much pick whoever they want. Having everything on tape means most people will know they haven't a chance of fighting it. If anyone can be decalred a criminal, that's pretty much the end.

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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby EstLladon » Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:34 pm UTC

If everybody can be declared a criminal it is pretty epic fail on goverment part. The fact that it cannot actually prosecute everybody does not make it less fail.
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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby Jesse » Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:57 pm UTC

But that's exactly what the government will do. Declaring it 'fail' doens't really stop the fact that this would happen. Can you tell me why, after a damning report stating that CCTV rarely helps solve crimes, the UK government is spending billions of pounds on even more cameras? To me, it's clear that catching criminals is not the primary goal of this system, merely the facade under which they build them.

I thought that a Russian would be very aware of the corruption that can exist in government, alongside us from America and the uK (Both having suffered under corrupt politicians. Would you trust Nixon with such an extensive system of surveillance?). Not to mention, it's not a case of trusting those in charge now, but you also then have to trust everybody who will come after these are gone. So you have to trust every future owner of Macy's to not sell this information on when asked for it.

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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby roc314 » Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:37 pm UTC

Jesse wrote:I thought that a Russian would be very aware of the corruption that can exist in government, alongside us from America and the uK (Both having suffered under corrupt politicians. Would you trust Nixon with such an extensive system of surveillance?). Not to mention, it's not a case of trusting those in charge now, but you also then have to trust everybody who will come after these are gone. So you have to trust every future owner of Macy's to not sell this information on when asked for it.
You also have to trust every employee who comes into contact with those tapes, not only to not use them abusively, but also to keep them protected so that someone outside can't get in and use them. Extending the analogy, it's not only Nixon you have to trust with the system, it's also every potential employee (possibly even disgruntled employees) to use the system ethically and put sufficient security on it that no one can break in (even if they're trying, the second half is still really difficult). Even if a supermajority of the people are responsible about it, it only takes one bad person to abuse it. Do you trust 100% of the people who might come into contact with the tapes?
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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:05 am UTC

Malice and Friends wrote:Pretending for a moment that this is what I was doing, technological progress should always be considered based on a cost-benefit analysis and not just blindly approved. The benefits of the internet far, far outweigh the increases in crime and decreases in security; in fact, it has proven to be an excellent tool against government tyranny and private trespassing, precisely because the internet aggregates both information and effort, and because the government/criminals are small compared to the number of people out there with the will to pay attention and stop them (and, as I said, with equal access to the same information). My conclusion is that the technology is most definitely worthwhile.

This example is almost the opposite in every way. These recordings would be private, not public, available to criminals and vast, powerful corporations but not consumers, so they don't self-correct for the potential power abuses inherent in the system. And there appears to be no worthwhile benefit to this implementation of the technology--at least, not one to the public at large who has to deal with the problems. The only "positive" result is targeted advertising, which as many in this thread have pointed out, can be incredibly annoying, invasive, far off-base ("all girls want to buy make-up, not video-games!"), and to the sole benefit of large corporations who seem to be doing fine without it.

Therefore I am perfectly happy to stand in the way of any "progress" which, when you look at it closely, reveals itself to be regression.

Corporations already keep rather expansive databases analysing and tracking your habits, how do you think Google makes its profits? Companies keep vast records of your digital actions, and they are used in whatever means possible to further their profits. This store-camera is insignificantly different, just a real world projection of a tried digital technique. There won't be any loose tapes floating around able to be abused, it is likely all data will be recorded and processed by computers and incapable of being directly touched by human hands. I do not understand the complaints that this would somehow be annoying, if targeted advertising fails to work on the given audience then it will be scrapped post-haste; the entire point is to make advertising more appealing to the consumer.

As to the technology issue, I suppose I was getting a bit sideways of the OP. My point with that, although generally poorly executed, was that this was a technological advancement that helps companies do what they have done for a while- try to selectively filter advertisements to the most receptive audience. The only real difference with these cameras is that it extends a new technology to an old effort, and if stalking is really the only reason we fear it then there is no point of holding its implementation back.

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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby Malice » Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:18 am UTC

EstLladon wrote:Yeah, sorry I sometimes get carried away. But still your example is not what I was talking about. I do not think that at this point any first-world coutry will become more totalitarian then it is now without nuclear war.


The UK is becoming steadily more totalitarian. I just read today that there's about to be a law there forbidding people from photographing police officers. (Link.) A totalitarian regime generally needs a threat, but that threat doesn't have to be real (oh noes it's Eurasia!) or as significant as nukes. Terrorism seems to be doing just fine as a state boogeyman, justifying the loss of all sorts of freedoms.

Totalitarian regimes are unstable and do not last, because fear is actually a bad base for a society.


The more control a regime has over its people, the more stable it becomes. The more control it has, the easier it is to present the world to its people as perfect, and outsiders as evil, and dissension as sinful. Look at North Korea, how long that's lasted. Look at China. Look at Hitler's Germany. Look at the Soviet Union. Look at Orwell's 1984, where he describes a regime with essentially perfect control and perfect stability.

The general movement in the direction of less totalitarism in the world is not work of small number of brave people, but rather a natural global scale process.


Citation needed.

--

Bubbles McCoy wrote:Corporations already keep rather expansive databases analysing and tracking your habits, how do you think Google makes its profits? Companies keep vast records of your digital actions, and they are used in whatever means possible to further their profits.


I am not exactly happy about that either; but I am more comfortable knowing that my steps are tracked online than knowing that I'm being physically watched and recorded in meat-space. I can always log off, but I can't escape real-world advertising without going off to live in the woods somewhere.

This store-camera is insignificantly different, just a real world projection of a tried digital technique. There won't be any loose tapes floating around able to be abused, it is likely all data will be recorded and processed by computers and incapable of being directly touched by human hands. I do not understand the complaints that this would somehow be annoying, if targeted advertising fails to work on the given audience then it will be scrapped post-haste; the entire point is to make advertising more appealing to the consumer.


I don't want advertising to be more appealing to me. Do you? Advertising has two goals: to inform and to entice. I love it when my ads inform me of things I will like. I hate it when ads entice me, and I don't want them to get any better at telling me where I need to spend my money.

The only real difference with these cameras is that it extends a new technology to an old effort, and if stalking is really the only reason we fear it then there is no point of holding its implementation back.


Stalking was just one simple example. I also mentioned identity theft, and other people have talked about corporations selling the information to the highest bidder, or employees taking selfish advantage of the information (which, by the way, has to touch human hands sometime or it's rather worthless, don't you think?). I also don't like that the government will almost certainly take advantage of these, the way they already use security cameras, ATM cameras, etc. That's sort-of why we've been talking about totalitarianism.
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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:52 am UTC

It is unlikely that this will ever become ubiquitous in the entirety of the world, this is only profitable provided rather high foottraffic. Regardless, provided that the majority accept relatively common smart advertisments by continuing to shop where they are located there's no particular reason to discourage their use. I doubt there will be legal backing to analyzing the behavior of someone who is not on a companies premises at any rate.

I don't particularly care for the idea of advertising being better at appealing to me, but I will not resort to legal means (or significantly change my shopping habits, for that matter) to prevent it from doing so. Ideally, advertising will be completely replaced with highly advanced algorithms that can link you to everything you might care to own through similarities to others unbiased opinions, but we aren't quite there yet.

Analysing the data doesn't need to touch human hands terribly directly, all that's needed is for large swaths of statistical data automatically generated by computers, you as an individual will not be reachable by men. Identity theft will be no more possible than it is today, if anything as technology progresses I'd expect it to become progressively more difficult to accomplish. Perhaps I am wrong, but consumer analysis has nothing to do with identity theft.

Corporations selling the information raises some interesting questions, which are a bit more complicated than outright rejection. In many ways, so long as humans do not directly manipulate individuals files, it can work to the consumers advantage as product offerings can be narrowed to those who might be interested in the given offering. Also, by offering ads to very specific audiences it lowers costs on the side of the advertisers, allowing smaller producers and more obscure products to reach a wider audience, effectively coming closer to the ideal situation I mentioned above.

The government is a bit of a concern, but not outrageously so. So long as they're not making their own cameras, they cannot build an effective analytical engine; courts can only requisition records when it is believed that the contain a record of a criminal act. I'm not in love with the government expanding their abilities on this front, but it isn't a terrible step above what we already have today.

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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby Malice » Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:36 am UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:Analysing the data doesn't need to touch human hands terribly directly, all that's needed is for large swaths of statistical data automatically generated by computers, you as an individual will not be reachable by men.


This seems to be a rather key point in your argument. My problem is that it sounds about as sure as "the government probably won't try to persecute me". You're assuming both maximum corporate efficiency (ha!) and completely impregnable security (double ha!) when you tell me that neither employees nor anybody else will ever have access to the raw data. I don't think those are safe assumptions to make, especially when any one exception can lead to some very undesirable consequences.

Identity theft will be no more possible than it is today, if anything as technology progresses I'd expect it to become progressively more difficult to accomplish. Perhaps I am wrong, but consumer analysis has nothing to do with identity theft.


Consumer analysis might if individuals are tracked. Video is the first element of that process that is definitely going to bring individuals into the analysis.

Corporations selling the information raises some interesting questions, which are a bit more complicated than outright rejection. In many ways, so long as humans do not directly manipulate individuals files, it can work to the consumers advantage as product offerings can be narrowed to those who might be interested in the given offering.


Again, that's possibly to the willing consumer's advantage; it's to the detriment of everybody who doesn't want to be targeted by 9 out of 10 companies in an industry simply because they bought (or walked in front of) something from the tenth. Also, advertising isn't a zero-sum deal--advertisers cover all media and possibilities, not just the most effective ones (because those quickly get crowded)--targeted ads won't decrease the amount of non-targeted ads. We'll just get twice as much huckstering in our daily lives. Joy.

Also, by offering ads to very specific audiences it lowers costs on the side of the advertisers, allowing smaller producers and more obscure products to reach a wider audience, effectively coming closer to the ideal situation I mentioned above.


Smaller producers and obscure products probably won't be able to afford this technology for a long, long time.

The government is a bit of a concern, but not outrageously so. So long as they're not making their own cameras, they cannot build an effective analytical engine; courts can only requisition records when it is believed that the contain a record of a criminal act.


Which is a great line of defense against tyranny until the government redefines "criminal act" out from under you.

I'm not in love with the government expanding their abilities on this front, but it isn't a terrible step above what we already have today.


Not necessarily, but watch out, that slope is pretty slippery.
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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:06 am UTC

I'm basing those initial assumptions on Google and similar internet companies privacy policies, which prevent access to personal data. Any noticable violation of personal privacy can quickly lead to a company dependent on user information can quickly find itself dead. Ultimately though, you'll have to depend on the government to some degree for privacy concerns, as we already do.

Malice wrote:Consumer analysis might if individuals are tracked. Video is the first element of that process that is definitely going to bring individuals into the analysis.

I'm afraid I don't follow; what does this have to do with identity theft?

Malice wrote:Again, that's possibly to the willing consumer's advantage; it's to the detriment of everybody who doesn't want to be targeted by 9 out of 10 companies in an industry simply because they bought (or walked in front of) something from the tenth. Also, advertising isn't a zero-sum deal--advertisers cover all media and possibilities, not just the most effective ones (because those quickly get crowded)--targeted ads won't decrease the amount of non-targeted ads. We'll just get twice as much huckstering in our daily lives. Joy.

There's far from any guarantee that this will result in more ads, if anything the ability to only present pertinent ads to a given consumer will result in a drop in advertisements. Beyond that, do you propose we approach the potential increase of ads and their presicion with anything more than a vague dread?

Malice wrote:Smaller producers and obscure products probably won't be able to afford this technology for a long, long time.

Smaller producers can't afford Google's analytical ad processing either, but they can afford to put out a handful of ads by paying them. By being able to put out just a couple of ads in highly relevant places, such businesses stand a much better chance of getting ahead. At first such technology would likely just be handled by a few big names, but data processing firms would be much more successful at this and eventually replace them, which in turn would expand their customer base by extending their offerings to smaller companies.

Even if "criminal act" is redefined, the government will not be able to much differently without wholesale absorbtion of private companies observation networks. Such an act is a rather ragged abrupt cliff, the mere presence of private video records pose little threat (not to mention that a video is likely to be analysed for relevant data then discarded, which in many ways represents a boon to the would-be-criminal).

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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby Malice » Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:02 pm UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:
Malice wrote:Consumer analysis might if individuals are tracked. Video is the first element of that process that is definitely going to bring individuals into the analysis.

I'm afraid I don't follow; what does this have to do with identity theft?


Video makes it possible to attach a face to a credit card number.

Malice wrote:Again, that's possibly to the willing consumer's advantage; it's to the detriment of everybody who doesn't want to be targeted by 9 out of 10 companies in an industry simply because they bought (or walked in front of) something from the tenth. Also, advertising isn't a zero-sum deal--advertisers cover all media and possibilities, not just the most effective ones (because those quickly get crowded)--targeted ads won't decrease the amount of non-targeted ads. We'll just get twice as much huckstering in our daily lives. Joy.

There's far from any guarantee that this will result in more ads, if anything the ability to only present pertinent ads to a given consumer will result in a drop in advertisements. Beyond that, do you propose we approach the potential increase of ads and their presicion with anything more than a vague dread?


Apparently neither of us can back up any claims toward the future level of advertising. All I have to go on is the impression that as advertising finds new avenues, the old avenues are not discarded. So I doubt the presence of targeted ads will lessen the amount of general ads, any more than sophisticated Google advertisements have replaced email spam.

I propose we approach the potential increase of ads and their precision with laws and boycotts. We draw a line in the sand and say "this is not legal" and we draw another one in front of it and say "this we will not stand for" and that is how we control the level of consumerism in our daily lives.
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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:05 am UTC

Malice wrote:Video makes it possible to attach a face to a credit card number.

I still don't see what this has to do with identity theft... I suppose you could theoretically fabricate fake ID's, but that seems a tad elaborate for your average identity theft scheme.

Malice wrote:Apparently neither of us can back up any claims toward the future level of advertising. All I have to go on is the impression that as advertising finds new avenues, the old avenues are not discarded. So I doubt the presence of targeted ads will lessen the amount of general ads, any more than sophisticated Google advertisements have replaced email spam.

I propose we approach the potential increase of ads and their precision with laws and boycotts. We draw a line in the sand and say "this is not legal" and we draw another one in front of it and say "this we will not stand for" and that is how we control the level of consumerism in our daily lives.

There is far from any guarantee that this will lead to a net increase in ads. It might seem like there are more, but malls have contained ads for quite a while and if anything, advertisement content has been diminished by the rising use of internet television in place of rather ad-heavy conventional broadcasts. (and seeing as spam is an oft-illegally distributed form of advertisement that relies on costs next-to-nothing, it comes across as a rather poor analog)

I fail to see any reasonable legal basis for a formal ban on such advertisments. What possible justification could you have for it? So long as this technique does not necessitate "stalking" through it's implementation and is kept within the grounds of a businesses' property, then the government has no reason to intercede. If you fear governmental slipperly slopes, I can't see how you can possibly want the government to ensure that you aren't subject to advertisements in a store.

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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby Malice » Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:58 am UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:I fail to see any reasonable legal basis for a formal ban on such advertisments. What possible justification could you have for it? So long as this technique does not necessitate "stalking" through it's implementation and is kept within the grounds of a businesses' property, then the government has no reason to intercede. If you fear governmental slipperly slopes, I can't see how you can possibly want the government to ensure that you aren't subject to advertisements in a store.


I am so much less worried about a dystopian future in which Coke and Pepsi are unable to advertise as much as they'd like.
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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby EstLladon » Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:01 am UTC

Malice wrote:
Citation needed.

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Um... Fall of Berlin wall and fall of the USSR seem like a pretty huge steps. It is not like Britain becoming sligthly more paranoid can undo that.
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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby Malice » Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:20 pm UTC

Two data points do not make a trend. And I see a lot of countries getting more paranoid. The US, the UK, Australia, China, France, North Korea, much of the Middle East... The fact that one totalitarian conglomerate fell apart for unrelated reasons does not mean that the world as a whole is less susceptible to tyranny.
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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby 22/7 » Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:42 pm UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:
Malice wrote:Video makes it possible to attach a face to a credit card number.
I still don't see what this has to do with identity theft... I suppose you could theoretically fabricate fake ID's, but that seems a tad elaborate for your average identity theft scheme.
I guess my major issue with it is when I walk into a Macy's and near the jewelry counter is one of these things advertising a particular piece of jewelry that I would probably be interested in. They know I'd be interested in it because they've gone back through my credit/debit card history and looked at all the other pieces of jewelry I've ever bought and then used a "you might also like" algorithm to find a piece of jewelry that is the right type, material, price, stone, cut, etc.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby Jack Saladin » Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:16 pm UTC

Malice wrote:Two data points do not make a trend. And I see a lot of countries getting more paranoid. The US, the UK, Australia, China, France, North Korea, much of the Middle East... The fact that one totalitarian conglomerate fell apart for unrelated reasons does not mean that the world as a whole is less susceptible to tyranny.

And it's not as if Russia is now a nice free sort of place, either. Putin isn't exactly the shining image of freedom and democracy.

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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:23 am UTC

Amnesiasoft wrote:And as for the topic at hand, I've personally got no issues with cameras up in public spaces. You already don't know what random person running around snapping pictures/shooting video with their camera phone has picked up in the background on accident, and while I'm certain this may sound a little silly, but I'm sure plenty of people who'd prefer not to get snapped up in those has been. But I've yet to hear complaints of people making use of these camera phones in public.But then again, I'm a rather apathetic person as it is.
Maybe that's because tourists and shutterbugs who happen to catch you in the background of one of their photos aren't using that photo to track and analyze you and store their information in a database just waiting to be abused, leaked, etc.
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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby roc314 » Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:30 am UTC

'; DROP DATABASE;-- wrote:
Amnesiasoft wrote:And as for the topic at hand, I've personally got no issues with cameras up in public spaces. You already don't know what random person running around snapping pictures/shooting video with their camera phone has picked up in the background on accident, and while I'm certain this may sound a little silly, but I'm sure plenty of people who'd prefer not to get snapped up in those has been. But I've yet to hear complaints of people making use of these camera phones in public.But then again, I'm a rather apathetic person as it is.
Maybe that's because tourists and shutterbugs who happen to catch you in the background of one of their photos aren't using that photo to track and analyze you and store their information in a database just waiting to be abused, leaked, etc.
No, they'll just use their cameras for terrorism. Which is why we need to not let them take pictures.
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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:44 am UTC

The link between these issues would be a lot scarier if they weren't in two different countries. I wouldn't be surprised to see either of them crossing the pond though.
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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby EstLladon » Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:45 am UTC

Jack Saladin wrote:
Malice wrote:Two data points do not make a trend. And I see a lot of countries getting more paranoid. The US, the UK, Australia, China, France, North Korea, much of the Middle East... The fact that one totalitarian conglomerate fell apart for unrelated reasons does not mean that the world as a whole is less susceptible to tyranny.

And it's not as if Russia is now a nice free sort of place, either. Putin isn't exactly the shining image of freedom and democracy.

He is not Stalin either. That was one crazy guy. It is much freer here than it was in 70s and 80s. And that's not two data points. USSR is buttload of data points.
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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby Jack Saladin » Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:02 am UTC

... I'm not sure you understand what sort of points we're talking about, here.

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Re: Advertisements watching people

Postby Malice » Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:56 am UTC

EstLladon wrote:USSR is buttload of data points.


Many effects: one cause. One totalitarian central government which became less totalitarian and, through the split-up, less central. One data point. The data is not "countries which became less totalitarian" it's "governments" because that's the only way that makes logical sense. And the USSR was one government.
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