Big Brother is watching…

…with this collection of creepy gizmos.  Know your opposition.

https://www.eff.org/pages/surveillance-cameras
 flock of stationary license plate readers

Read it for the cameras, then follow the link to Tattoo Recognition Programs.

Tip from the Geek Press.  He links, you decide.

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A Civil Rights Syllogism

A syllogism

  • Self-defense is a human right.
  • Black people are human beings.  Therefore
  • Black people have the right of self-defense.
BlacksWithGuns
There’s a great story goin’ this picture.

Why would this surprise anyone?

Tip from the Instapundit. Even a better tip from commenter Franco.

Sorry, you’ve reached your social credit limit

China has blocked millions of “discredited” travellers from buying plane or train tickets as part of the country’s controversial “social credit” system aimed at improving the behaviour of citizens.

This is where ubiquitous surveillance by the state (directly or via contractors) eventually leads.  This is why you shouldn’t trust the folks who want to dispossess you of your car; their motives are not what they professs.

Tip from the Instapundit, who predicts some Chinese people will find their social credit card inoperable in the bread lines of the near future.

The Abolition of Cash, Frisco Edition

Do people not understand the words “Legal Tender?”

US_one_dollar_bill_2009

If you want a hot coffee at Blue Bottle, cold hard cash may not work anymore.

The high-end coffee company will ban cash at 12 locations across the country starting on March 11 as part of a month-long experiment that aims to speed up purchases.  (photo from this article)

BlueBottleCCbaby

Commenting on The Instapundit, Ed Driscoll notes

On Twitter, Rob Province, aka, “Educated Hillbilly” asks, “Am I a total racist for thinking this is a way to keep poor & minority customers out of their hip San Francisco coffee shop?” Not at all. Beyond that, as Glenn noted in December, “This is mostly a stealthy way to keep homeless people out.”

It’s much more than this.  Remember, surveillance institutions–whether corporate or state–have an imperative to collect behavioral data in ever-widening scope.  No aspect of your life is immune.  The Chronicle’s Shwanika Narayan blithely swallows the pretense offered by the restaurant industry

The move reflects a growing cashless trend across the restaurant industry, which is eager to make service more efficient.

That’s the businesses fronting for the credit card folks, who would love to track every purchase made by every person, every day.  Think what a goldmine of behavioral profiling this would be to their “back end” customers in advertising, law enforcement, and more nefarious endeavors.

As for me, “Real Texans pay cash,”   (unless I working the x% cash back on my credit card).  As for places like Blue Bottle, if you don’t want my cash, I don’t want your coffee.

Update:  On further consideration, I really don’t like this; it abuses the help.  My custom is to always tip in cash, even when paying by credit card.  (Try this where you’re a regular customer; you’ll notice a boost in service.) A tip is a private transaction between me and my waiter.  It is not the business of the employer, the IRS, or some band of tip-sharing Nazis.  No cash, no tip.

Big Brother Invades the Ice House

The Surveillance Market is set to invade your local quick-stop, grocer, or ice house.

A new digital door technology from a company called Cooler Screens is now being tested in Walgreens, and it sounds absolutely awful. Rather than a basic, transparent glass door, coolers and freezers will be sealed by screens that show a sanitized image of the products behind them. Supposedly, these screens will:

  • Save energy
  • Help monitor inventory
  • Help customers with poor eyesight
  • Make products more visually appealing

That’s all nice enough, and those mild benefits might even be worth replacing a simple glass pane with a complex TV screen. However, further reading ultimately makes those benefits sound like nothing so much as an after-the-fact justification for the real motives behind this technology:

Flashing banner ads float between the digital rows of goods…in addition to the flashy ads and “smart” merchandising, these screens are equipped with sensors and cameras designed to watch and profile the appearance and actions of customers who find themselves in their path, like me. Approximate age and gender. How long my gaze lingers on the bottles of tea.

And they don’t even hide the fact that they’re watching you!  Zuboff is right when she says the corporate desire for behavioral data is insatiable.

CoolerScreensDataCapture

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think having Big Brother determine whether I’m buying milk, soda pop, or a cold beer is any of their business.  I won’t patronize Cool Screeners.

Be a dirty shame if someone banged a shopping cart into these screens and disabled them (hey, it happens to smartphones all the time).

Tip from Stephen Green writing at the Instapundit.

You’re not just web surfing, you’re participating in an A/B test

Pretty much every time you log on to Facebook or use Google, you’re participating, as a subject, in an A/B test.  Unknowingly.  Without informed consent.  This is how privacy and human rights are eroded, one click at a time.  Worse yet, the folks who do this brag about it!  Don’t believe me?  Type “A/B testing internet” into your favorite search engine (I avoid Google) and see what you get.

A-Btesting

There’s a friggin’ geek army of snoops out there.

Even your doorbell is spying on you

In it’s unbridled quest for behavioral data, Google put microphones in its subsidiary Nest’s home security systems.   Ostensibly for future upgrades.  Without telling their customers.  Who does PR for these guys?  Jussie Smollett?

Bonus:  apparently Google was pushing privacy limits with Street View as well, sucking up local WiFi addresses.

Tip from Stephen Green at the Instapundit.