Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ It’s Not About Safety

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

In the wake of recent news of Clearview AI being used in New York Schools we read that "more than 600 law enforcement agencies have adopted facial recognition software from a company called Clearview AI in just the past year... in the name of security and public safety." Tim Stahmer points to an an important observation by Edward Snowden on this topic: "Ask yourself: at every point in history, who suffers the most from unjustified surveillance? It is not the privileged, but the vulnerable. Surveillance is not about safety, it's about power. It's about control." The presumption here - and one that is borne out in observation, I think - is that the privileged are not surveilled, but the poor are.

A similar point was made in a terrific interview with Desmond Cole by CBC's local news. Among other things, Cole notes that armed police are never brought into rich white private schools, even though drug dealing and everything else may happen there, only the poor schools with minority populations. I strongly recommend listening to this interview.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: May 20, 2024 9:03 p.m.

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