Posts tagged “Google glasses

Google Glasses Have Law Enforcement “Giddy” at the Possibilities

googleglass

When it comes to high-tech government surveillance—the electronic concentration camp New York City’s nanny-state mayor, Michael Bloomberg, revels in creating—law enforcement administrators on the lookout for ‘free federal money’ and politicians addicted to handouts in the form of campaign contributions—conveniently search for innovative ways to turn technology against the citizenry.

Recently, I have had a few matter-of-fact conversations with those who believe “Google glasses” will someday become standard equipment for police officers on patrol.

At a cost of $1,500 each, “Google Glasses” enable a wearer to shoot video, search the internet, and send e-mail via voice command.

“Each pair of glasses is fitted with a miniaturised camera and web browser which displays digital information on a tiny screen — a clear plastic block the width of a pencil — just in front and slightly above a wearer’s eye,” Daily Mail reporter Tom Leonard notes.  “The arm of the headset, which sits near the wearer’s temple, acts as a touch pad. By sliding your finger up and down it, you can scroll through the text visible in your eyepiece. To select something on the screen, the user simply taps the headset.”

Last October, LifeonTech.com found Google’s efforts to acquire the company Viewdle as “particularly interesting.”  Viewable is a facial recognition software company that “specializes in augmented reality and automatic face tagging.” In other words, if this technology is incorporated into Google Glasses, wearers could compare the faces of those they view against private sector databases, enabling them to know the identities and backgrounds of those nearby.

Behind the scenes, high-ranking federal, state, and local law enforcement officials are giddy about the possibilities of these hands-free glasses.  Imagine a scenario where a cop on the beat could simply look at an individual walking down the sidewalk and, instantly, compare that person’s image against biometrical information—computer generated software that assigns a mathematical equation to faces, ears, and noses—stored in every state’s department of motor vehicle’s data base and the FBI’s $1.2 billion Next Generation Identification system. Within a matter of seconds, information federally subsidized intelligence fusion centers purchase from private sector companies, such as ChoicePoint and Acxiom, could alert the officer to their target’s occupation, credit score, hobbies, family members, and the identifies of close personal associates.

Moreover, law enforcement envisions another scenario—the collection of faces and license plates observed by the viewer, which would then get time-stamped, geo-tagged, and stored indefinitely. When an individual becomes a suspect, a protestor, or maybe even a political opponent, government agents could access these data bases to create a timeline concerning their precise whereabouts.

One can only imagine the data just one Milwaukee police officer wearing such glasses could input by viewing a crowd at bar time on Water Street.

As I detail these types of intrusive technologies to others, many people tend to shrug their shoulders as if the say, ‘Oh, well, this is the world we live in.’ There is, however, no need to act like sheep being led to the slaughter. Call your state and federal representatives. Sure, many elected officials, especially those receiving campaign contributions from lobbyists affiliated with companies that profit by marginalizing our freedoms, might seem stand-offish. Nonetheless, they do, supposedly, work for those they purport to represent and not the members of the security-industrial complex.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest print edition only book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Spingola-Files-Volume-Steven/dp/0979683998/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364048098&sr=8-1&keywords=best+of+the+spingola+files

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

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© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2013