Good Intentions + Technology = Road to Hell?

Source: IEEE Spectrum: Technology, Engineering, and Science News “Cops Tap Smart Streetlights Sparking Controversy and Legislation”

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions” goes the old saw, and in the modern era, well-intentioned technology testifies to the veracity of the adage over and over again. In the particular instance, the city of San Diego installed public surveillance cameras expressly for the purpose of quantifying resources usage, but enabled the use of the video thus gathered to be used by law enforcement to investigate major crimes only. However, now that footage has been used against protestors and others who have not committed any major crimes, the city is risking losing the confidence of its voters.

City officials concede that they needed to consider the definition of a major crime more seriously, and now they are in a horrible position where they are doubted by their two most important constituents: the voters and law enforcement. On can only hope that a quasi-police state is not the outcome they elect to implement.

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