Surveillance cameras are good when used to prevent crimes from happening. They can also play an essential role in capturing said crimes (and identifying perpetrators) when they happen. However, the same cameras can also be used for nefarious purposes, like secretly tracking people's movements. And with privately installed surveillance cameras spread in public places worldwide, monitoring persons of interest has never been this easy.
To demonstrate the dangers of our current surveillance technology, Dries Depoorter created an art project called "The Follower." True to its name, The Follower would zero in on an unsuspecting Instagram user and then piece the Instagram photo together with footage from a nearby surveillance camera.
Depoorter's inspiration for the project came as he watched a live feed of the New York Times Square wherein he saw a woman spending a lot of time taking photos of herself (most likely to capture that perfect shot.) Depoorter thought that the woman was probably an influencer, so he scoured Instagram photos that were geo-tagged to Times Square. Unfortunately, he found none. But this gave him an idea: he could combine people's Instagram photos and footage from cameras made available to the public.
One of Depoorter's unsuspecting subjects was David Welly Sombra Rodrigues. One of his friends sent him a news article about Depoorter's The Follower, and he was surprised to see that he was, unknowingly, filmed.
Unfortunately, Depoorter's YouTube video was already taken down because of a copyright claim by EarthCam, a company that streams webcam content on the Internet.
Depoorter, however, states that his project is not about companies that make such things possible. Rather, his point is "there are many unprotected cameras all over the world."
Whether we like it or not, we can be monitored, whether by an individual, or by an organization.
Depoorter says it best. "If one person can do this, what can a government do?"
(Image Credit: Dries Depoorter/ EarthCam)
#AI #ArtificialIntelligence #EarthCam #TheFollower #Privacy #Surveillance #Art #Technology