Monday, December 22, 2014

Seminar 1 - Position statement from Prof. Steve Mann, Computer Engineering, University of Toronto

Veillance wants to be shared! But sousveillance (undersight) is often prohibited by proponents or practitioners of surveillance. I argue that this “we're watching you but you're not allowed to watch us” hypocrisy creates a conflict-of-interest that tends to invite corruption (data corruption as well as human corruption).  When police seized CCTV recordings from when they mistakenly shot Jean Charles de Menezes 7 times in the head in a London subway in 2005, the police claimed that the four separate surveillance recordings were all blank (after transit officials had already viewed the recordings and seen the recordings of the shooting).  Indeed the opposite of hypocrisy is integrity.  In this way it can be argued that surveillance (oversight), through its hypocrisy, embodies an inherent lack of integrity.  A society with oversight-only, is an oversight on our part! More generally, we can construct the following table:
Surveillance    Sousveillance
(oversight)     (undersight)
Hypocrisy       Integrity
Secrecy         Openness
Centralized     Distributed

Against this backdrop, I will describe PI (Priveillance Institute), working at the intersection of Privacy and Veillance (sur and sous).


  1. If you want to see Steve Mann's wearables in action at a multi-media workshop, there's an event at Stanford coming up:
    PDF: tei2015.pdf
    Date: Friday, 16 January, 2015

  2. Steve Mann sends his greetings from headquarters in Silicon Valley California and at Stanford University in California where he just did some veillametrics:

    V- cool pictures that perhaps might help improve human-machine understanding/empathy in the field of surveillance (as humans start to appreciate what machines are doing/seeing)?

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