In the UK the police continue to stop ordinary citizens taking photographs in public places yet they feel free to take pictures of us any time they like. Police in Brighton have taken to parking a special CCTV van on the pavement. It’s interesting that there has been criticism of Google for their Streetview project yet we are complacent about police collecting similar information.
If I were a IT systems manager in the police force I would consider creating a system collecting all photographs taken by the police into a single database. I’d then reference police computers and online information such as Facebook, Google and Flickr and use automatic face recognition to allow police CCTV equipment to automatically identify people. Add a head up display to police car windscreens and you have little floating tags over members of the public as they go about their business.
Are the police working on such a system? – How would we know?