From CCTV to Biometrics through Mobile Surveillance

From CCTV to Biometrics through Mobile Surveillance

J. Gallo
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 5
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-789-8.ch127
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Surveillance is the act or process of observing, tracking, or recording personal details for the purpose of exercising control over the individual or population being watched. Control in this context can mean many things, from directly influencing the behavior of the observed to the use of gathered information for the purpose of management or governance. Mobile surveillance can be defined as two distinct, yet related, practices. The first is the ability to observe the physical movement of an individual through space. This is most often accomplished through documenting their interaction with a surveillance network. The object of surveillance is tracked from one node of the network to another, providing a record of behavior. The second practice is often referred to as dataveillance, or the ability to monitor an individual’s behavior through studying a trail of personally identifiable data, including credit card purchases, mobile phone calls, and health records. Mobile surveillance employs an array of technologies including video and photography cameras, visual recognition software, radio frequency identification (RFID), global positioning receivers (GPS), information and communication technologies (ICTs), and biometrics. Examples of mobile surveillance networks include the dense deployment of closed-circuit television (CCTV), video, and photographic technologies in a distinct geographic space to monitor activity, the tracking of automobiles and mobile phones via GPS, and radio frequency sensing that records motion as identity chips pass through a distributed network of receivers. As these networks proliferate, individuals are the exposed to overlapping layers of surveillance. Although many of these surveillance networks are deployed for limited purposes, the increasing ability to save and store personally identifiable information in searchable databases, and the ability to mine information from multiple sources raises privacy concerns for the individual. This is especially true in advanced capitalist societies that rely on sophisticated data gathering to track, model, and predict consumer behavior, as well as for citizen management.

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