Over the last few months you have all seen me from time to time post messages that deal with some of the unintended ramifications of what we are dutifully creating. There has been some interesting discussion about RFID and the potential abuse when it is applied to privacy issues.

Daily Wireless (awesome site by the way, if you’re not reading it) has a great story about using wireless in conjunction with traffic violation cameras.

http://www.dailywireless.org/2004/09/14/speed-violation-cameras/

As quoted from the article,

“Axsis LIVE allows the user to record violation event segments and replay them later for police or court purposes. The LIVE option is in addition to high resolution digital color still violation images. Any direction of travel can be viewed live or recorded video can be recalled later for court or police purposes.”

Okay, I can see where this could be a great thing.

Quoted further down in the article,

“Success, however, may not measured by the number of lives saved or accidents reduced but by the amount of revenue generated, according to speedcameras.org. Camera enforcement is all too often about power, authority, and money.

Beaverton, Oregon installed automated traffic violation cameras – and reduced the timing of the yellow caution light a few seconds. That made LOTS of money for the city – which denied it. A Portland television reporter showed them the evidence and government officials reset the yellow lights to standard timing.”

And I can see where abuse could creep in.

I am not trying to pass judgment here but rather cause us all to pause and reflect once in a while as to whether or not we are creating something that is for our own good. Will the networks we are building today enhance our lives as we all hope or will there be abuses that might make us wish we had never built this network?

I do not even pretend to have those answers but I do understand we should be looking at the fact that we may have reached a stage in human evolution where we are starting to innovate faster than we can comprehend the ramifications of what we are doing.

Food for thought.

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