The popular television show, Cops introduces itself with a recognizable reggae song asking, “whatcha gone do when they come for you?” In Jamaica, police forces are not singing songs, but like American cops, using technology to an advantage.
Wearable technology, like Google Glass and A/V devices small enough to wear on a tie or lapel, are being introduced to a public seasoned in technology and eager to get their hands, feet, heads and other body parts on wearable gadgets.
How would you feel if washing hands in the bathroom and in comes another wearing Google Glass or other variety of wearable technology? Most would feel a bit uncomfortable, and yes, such actions are illegal, yet the bathroom, strip club and places where indicated prohibited are only a handful of locales where one cannot wear such devices that capture audio and video.
Technically speaking, one can wear Google Glass, bug-sized recording devices and assorted ‘spyware’ openly in public at cafes, parks, etc.
Courts prepare to hear a number of unique privacy invasion cases, and perhaps judgments will be based on user intent. For example, Facebook, a popular social platform used by people all over the world, is free to people of all ages to use for business and communicative purposes. Some could misuse it for cyber-bullying and ‘snooping.’ The person, not the product or service, enacts intent.
Of course, wearable technology’s intent is not to shake the pillars of ethics but to provide value to a population yearning for technological advancements. For example, a camera a dad wears on his lapel or tie may continuously take pictures of a daughter’s birthday party while he manages a video camera or helps cut the cake. It’s hands-free daddy journalism! Moreover, a scientist may leverage a camera taking continuous pictures while changing the magnification of a microscope lens or making an integral incision during a dissection.
Also, people with Wi-Fi wristwatches, Internet-ready headphones and other gadgets may listen to content downloaded with programs like YTD, watch content and communicate with friends conveniently. For most, the value of instantaneous communication and entertainment outweighs potential threats of privacy invasion.
Jamaican police are using wearable technology, such as video cameras and audio recording devices to not only aid in providing evidence to secure arrests and arraignment but also to monitor the possibility of brute force. 258 civilians were killed last year by security forces guarding an island of 2.7 million people. It’s 39 more than the previous year and the island experiences a 9-percent increase in homicide compared to 2012.
The consistent urge for investigation by locals and repeated criticism by human rights activists inspires the Jamaican police to add wearable technology to its officers’ street gear. However, National Security Minister instructed a “select” group would represent the control group. The actual value and plans to make wearable technology a permanent addition to officer gear is yet to take fruition.
Wearable technology: is it a passing fad, new intrusion, or benefit to questionable policing? Whatever individuals and organizations have planned for wearable technology, considering word spreads quickly on Twitter and Facebook, it’s likely people the world over will be brandishing their respective opinions.
Make sure you respect IP with video downloads.