Be Watched

What do I think about being watched? It doesn’t really matter what I think as Big Brother is always watching anytime and everywhere. Having an opinion on this topic will not change the fact that in the UK we are caught on CCTV about 70 times a day. (Previously rumoured to be about 300 times a day). Cameras can be found just about anywhere, license plate readers, public cameras, shops, restaurants, airports and on public transport. Facial recognition technology adds an extra element of security. Surprisingly information about you is also collected on the phone, while you watch TV, sitting at your computer, sending and receiving emails, surfing the internet and when you use credit and loyalty cards. Every form of technology has the potential to be watching us.

Every time you use the internet, data is collected about your search. Before long this data is responsible for sending you adverts regarding your online browsing.

‘Cookies’ allow this to happen. Some would argue that it makes your internet browsing a more enjoyable experience but others do not agree with the amount of information collected and stored by companies about them. Every time you use an app it announces your location and other useful information to different marketing companies.

Opinion polls have shown the majority of the population want more surveillance rather than less. We feel safe and secure in the knowledge that there are cameras everywhere watching for any problems that might happen and also deter crime.

As with everything there are advantages and disadvantages to ‘being watched.’ Crime prevention, easing of traffic problems, easy access to information and better user experience on the internet but on the flip side being watched all the time there is no privacy and freedom of speech is also restricted.

The world we live in today with all the terrorism scares and child pornography provides a valid reason for all the ‘watching’ that goes on. I can understand it would be almost impossible for the government to be able to filter whose emails and texts they monitor from the hundreds of millions out there and have to accept that for my own security this is now part of everyday life. It might not be fair that we can not access the governments information as they can ours but at least we have the chance to live in a safer environment. The information collected by companies whilst we are browsing or using our phones is just another thing we have come to accept as technology becomes more advanced.

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