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CES Surveillance Hype Worries Privacy Advocates


Cutting-edge surveillance tech took center stage at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada this past week. But just as many tech enthusiast praised the technology as something to marvel, privacy advocates voiced concern.




CES Surveillance Hype Worries Privacy Advocates



While the use of security cameras are booming, critics point to privacy issues with various aspects of surveillance, such as facial recognition and the issue of consent. Products on display at the CES show floor have had their own security and privacy issues.


A growing convergence effect that should give each one of us significant pause is the fading of privacy. There are three good reasons for us to pay attention to privacy issues. First: We, personally, are not immune to privacy violations. Second: We, as security practitioners and members of the security industry, are designing, manufacturing, installing and operating systems that lessen privacy. I am sure that among the more than 30,000 readers of this magazine, there are some knowledgeable privacy advocates. The rest of us, however, have a third reason to pay attention: We, personally and professionally, are less informed about privacy issues than we realize we are. That makes us, our systems, and ultimately our customers more vulnerable than they should be. And that directly contradicts our purpose as security professionals.


Since 2001 the State of California has enacted 49 privacy laws. One of those laws prohibits the improper use of electronic surveillance equipment by rental car companies (Assembly Bill 2840). The bill defines Electronic Surveillance Technology (EST) as a technological method or system used to observe, monitor or collect information such as telematics, global positioning systems, wireless technology, and locat