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In the age we live in, everything we do has the potential to be known. The age we live in today, an Age of Transparency, where your activities are being tracked at every whim of your smartphone. To those Luddites who still do not yet own a smartphone, because of this very reason, they are …   Read More

In the age we live in, everything we do has the potential to be known. The age we live in today, an Age of Transparency, where your activities are being tracked at every whim of your smartphone. To those Luddites who still do not yet own a smartphone, because of this very reason, they are not safe either, chances are they know others in their entourage who do own various “tracking” devices and those activities are recorded “second hand,” so it is second hand tracking, that is even more deadly than….well you get the point. [tweet_box]If surveillance agencies want to turn my laptop’s webcam and record my every actions, so be it! Yes, I know it is not very right that they do it without telling us first, but if this is the trade of that give way to a number of unpredictable benefits[/tweet_box] I believe we are entering the Age of Transparency, originally and primarily because knowing our behaviours does translate into a lot of money for large corporations who crave to further their craft to create more effective marketing strategies. This motivation to create an ecosystem of tracking, from the early days of the Internet cookies to track your internet browsing behaviour to location enabled devices, which can literally track your physical location in time and space. This gives way to valuable data collected by our phones and sold to the highest bidder. I am aware of this myself, though my thinking about this is: Since I have nothing to hide, and I naturally do not engage in unethical behaviours, why should I be concerned? If surveillance agencies want to turn my laptop’s webcam and record my every actions, so be it! Yes, I know it is not very right that they do it without telling us first, but if this is the trade of that give way to a number of unpredictable benefits, therefore, I am onboard! What benefits?! You may ask. Let’s explore a few:

Police abuse reduction due to using dash 0r body cams

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Body worn cams are currently in place in the United States: Oakland and San Diego, California; Denver and Colorado Springs, Colorado; Mesa, Arizona; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Omaha, Nebraska; Dallas, Ft. Worth, San Antonio, Houston, Texas; Indianapolis, Indiana; Detroit, Michigan; Columbus, Ohio; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta, Georgia; and Miami, Florida.

A recent study by the Police Foundation, a non-profit organazation that looks out for cops to do their jobs better, released a publication called The Effect of Body-Worn Cameras on Police Use-of-Force, which looked at the effects of body worn cameras by the police results in a very significant reduction of police use of force and police complains. In the time of massive protest across the most influencing country in the world related to police profiling of African Americans has highlighted issues related to racism in the country, the fact that a study shows a strong correlation with cops wearing cameras on their uniforms is a great benefit. It is not a secret knowing your every actions are being recorded and can be reviewed later does bring a sense of accountability, knowing your boss can review or audit your every day actions can feel threatening to some police, but the end result does leave a police officer thinking twice before they escalate a situation or in their use of force. [tweet_box]The inner workings, nefarious as we now know them, from large intelligence bodies are rather an important triumph for our society, such knowledge and openness brings accountability[/tweet_box]

Unveiling corruption

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To some Edward Snowden is a hero, to others, mainly the U.S. government and allies he is a criminal.

Not since the famous Watergate scandal we have observed a series of neverending scandals, from the leaking of secret government documents by Wikileaks to Edward Snowdden big unveiling of activities we could only have theorized or watched in movies. The knowledge of government corruption and the unethical behaviours are wide open and part of everyone’s psyches. The inner workings, nefarious as we now know them, from large intelligence bodies are rather an important triumph for our society, such knowledge and openness brings accountability and sends this message: You may be watching us, but hey we are watching YOU back.

Oversight

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If only all politicians can be scrutinized as much as Rob Ford has been.

The world is watching, whether it is the fact people themselves are more than willing to announce their own activities or, in the case of Donald Trump, themselves reveal their own ill intentions, almost nothing goes unchecked or scrutinized these days. In some ways this come become very tiring to observe, because we end up in busy and unnecessary stream of noise. Oversight, although you can argue otherwise, can be exemplified by the events that lead to the end of the reign of former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, whom after the reveal by the Toronto Star of his alcohol and drug habit, his every actions became an excuse for daily newspaper headlines. Recently we learned of the various irregularities by one of the world’s most powerful sporting cartels, FIFA, which led to the resignation of its president.   I am not one to fear this new age, but for those who do engage in unethical behaviours they should fear. I do want to protect some sensitive information at times, that is why it is good to get an awareness of some these tools. Those very affluent peoples who head the biggest media giants today, I am not only referring of Rupert Murdoch types, but more so of the Mark Zuckeberg types, they are not safe either, because even with an incredible amount of tech savviness and resources, you can not do anything about the people around who may take a photo of you and post it on social media.

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