places and camphone privacy

Camphone hysteria is building. Gadgets with built-in cameras are being banned all over the place. Looks like we’ll see an arbitrary patchwork of camphone rules emerge ??some will ban them, others encourage them ??most, presumably, try to ignore them.

But maybe this is actually a rational response to new surveillance tech. Maybe an evolved public realm provides a spectrum of degrees of privacy. From totally transparent, 100% surveilled spaces like malls and street corners to private zones like cafes and swimming pools ? maybe even using opportunistic, new technologies to automatically disarm personal surveillance gadgets. I’d rather see an explicit new urban grammar of surveillance ? places and environments publicly marked up with their ‘personal surveillance status’ (Matt could do the signage) than have no idea who’s watching and when.


  1. the local (ok one of the many local) strip clubs in hackney have taken the decision to ban all phones rather than having to keep up with which ones have a photo facility. it’s that kind of luddite attitude that’s setting this country back decades. many legitimate businessmen need to use their mobile phones to stay in touch while they pop into a local strip joint at lunchtime.

  2. Yeah, Steve often sends me photos of the strippers just to prove how ugly they are so I don’t get jealous. It’s positively a marriage saver. So I say allow the phones man and keep us wives happy.

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