The internal documents show that through its Vigilant Solutions contract, which began in 2018 and runs to September 2020, ICE has access not only to five billion records gathered by private businesses, but also to 1.5 billion data points contributed by over 80 local law enforcement agencies from more than a dozen states.
“This is the first piece of legislation that I’ve seen that really takes facial recognition technology as serious as it is warranted and treats it as uniquely dangerous.” Woodrow Hartzog, Northeastern University Privacy laws in Texas and Illinois require anyone recording biometric data, including face scans and fingerprints, to give people notice and obtain their consent.
Yet in the West, at least, the threat of government surveillance systems being integrated with the existing corporate surveillance capacities of big-data companies like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon into one gigantic all-seeing eye appears to trouble very few people—even as countries like Venezuela have been quick to copy the Chinese model.
If you buy things directly from small vendors, you’re stuck entering your credit card information, your email, and your billing address on site after site—sinking ever deeper into the surveillance economy as each digital form puts your personal details into someone else’s database, while also giving hackers ever more opportunities to filch your data.
Airport security regulations might mean you can no longer reasonably expect that you’re not being recorded in a terminal or on an airplane.And it’s not just government surveillance that has changed over the years — we ourselves are inviting devices into our homes and lives that could fundamentally alter what we can expect when it comes to privacy.
Of course the story is more complicated than that, but the ability for members of society to privately smoke weed was essential for putting it on the path to legalization.We don’t yet know which subversive ideas and illegal acts of today will become political causes and positive social change tomorrow, but they’re around.