Nov 082011
 November 8, 2011  Posted by  Surveillance, U.S.

I missed this news story when it first appeared, but luckly, Loss of Privacy‘s keen eye picked it up. Julie Banovic reports:

They are being used for entertainment and safety. but some critics say this is nothing more than the watchful eye of big brother keeping track of your every moment.

This high tech system called ‘Intellistreets’ is being made right here in Farmington Hills.

“In each lighting fixture or each lighting pole, there is processor very much like an iPhone. And it takes inputs and outputs and talks back and forth. And the poles actually talk to each other,” said Ron Harwood.


When you step come [sic] into view of the street light, there is a camera that spots you, and the person on the other side sees you by white specs on a black screen. The camera senses that somebody is there, and if wants, it can even take your picture.

The system is also capable of recording conversations making critics cry invasion of privacy.

“This is not a system with spook technology. It’s much more transparent. It can just talk to you and say, don’t fall over Niagara Falls,” said Harwood.


Of course, the claims focus on all of the wonderfully helpful things the technology can do. But if a light system can be recording your conversations on the street, we are back to eroding any expectation of privacy in public spaces – even if you think are alone on the street with a friend. Do we really need to look over our shoulders before gossiping with a friend for fear our conversations will be picked up and recorded?

Does this technology go to far?

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