He invented a tool that could end your ability to walk down the street anonymously, and provided it to hundreds of law enforcement agencies, ranging from local cops in Florida to the F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security.
Under the harmless title “The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It”
(#nostress) the New York Times traces a profile of Hoan Ton-That, the creator of Clearview AI. The tool helps law enforcement match photos of unknown people to their online images, utilising a database of more than three billion images that Clearview claims to have scraped from Facebook, YouTube, Venmo and millions of other websites . 🥂
More than providing any real deterrence, Ring militarizes public space by helping construct a web of police surveillance that would be otherwise impossible. Individual homeowners would likely balk if police asked to put cameras in front of every person’s house. Sold by Amazon and ostensibly owned and controlled by homeowners, those same cameras are embraced.
Meanwhile, New York has launched an Internet Master Plan
which aims to bring broadband access to under served neighborhoods. It entails making available to private companies existing infrastructure like rooftops and light poles to build new connective ones. It’s the first time that city assets are made available to multiple providers to share those assets for a variety of technology.
It would be cool if all this tech dissemination in the city could at least integrate also health restorative elements like music. A hotel in NY is hosting a collaboration between Microsoft and Bjork
: the music played in the lobby will adapt to sunrises, sunsets, and changes in barometric pressure, using a live camera feed from the hotel roof.
Otherwise, there is always the option “…what if we ditched the data and embraced ancient technology instead?”. A pledge for dumb cities
making use of low-tech.