Archive for the ‘communities’ Category

Unreasonable search and siezure and a free market solution

BTC OpEd – I started to notice I had a “sixth-sense” while attending a Bob Wier concert in Southern California in ’06. I “felt” someone looking at me. Sure enough, I turned sharply and someone was looking dead at me. There are countless instances of persons having similar experiences that have been documented and studied.

As I have reported in the past, many believe this to be an evolutionary response to evaluating if the “watcher” is actually a predator. Animals demonstrate the perception of being watched by returning a glance or running away from unwanted attention. If your extra sensory survival antennae are working, your eyes may be drawn sharply to surveillance cameras in common areas, like shopping markets or banks.
Today, I was in the ice cream section in my local supermarket looking at ice cream bars. Instinctively my eyes snapped sharply to the surveillance orb immediately overhead. I had just been to the new bank where there were cameras mounted at every angle of interaction. My head began to pound and I became really irritable. Why can’t I do things I need to do without a surveillance hawk following me wherever I go? This isn’t even government sponsored surveillance. This is “I gotta get out and do what I need to do in life,”surveillance by a corporation.
What’s irritating about this interaction is that you don’t know who is watching you, why they are focused on you or what they “want”. After a while you really don’t care what their excuse is. You want to be left alone. I’m not asking permission as a grown woman to be left alone while I look at varieties of frozen goods. However, it seems to be verboten somehow for someone to approach these surveillance goons to break their voyeuristic tendencies. If you ask who is watching, how to contact them or who the security contractor is you will probably be blown off by the lowly shift manager, whose familiar bureaucratic response is “that’s above my pay grade”.
I made a free market decision today. I decided to do my best to stop shopping at places which never asked me if they had permission to film my personal images. I have made other decisions like this. I don’t buy products made from animal testing. I boycott big oil petroleum by using car share alternatives and public transport. I buy food by and large that has no GMOs and is organically grown.
I made an observation as well. Independent health food grocers have moderate camera surveillance and I feel better about shopping in these places. People want to trust the businesses in their communities. If locals can’t go about their business without a surveillance camera looking into their shopping carts or sending a RFID tag home to follow them like a digital cookie, it’s a betrayal for giving them your business and your trust.
When you’re off the job, you shouldn’t have to put up with the corporate surveillance put there by a control freak boss. Everyone has decisions to make. While you may make certain compromises, you’ll continually be asked to make more when it comes to your privacy.
I challenge you to write down how many times today, just going about your day-to-day, individual surveillance was required for you to do anything you need to do. You can always choose to put your market dollar in places which put the dignity of your common privacy first. You can start by asking businesses to be “surveillance moderate”.
You and your community set those standards. You decide how much is too much surveillance.