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This document discusses the rise of participatory surveillance, or "sousveillance", enabled by new technologies like Google Glass that allow people to record and share information about each other. It notes that the internet never forgets and contains records of inappropriate content. It argues we are entering an era where people can access reputational information about millions of others, like in an all-seeing village, raising serious privacy and reputation concerns especially for young people. The future of this participatory panopticon depends on society developing a culture of forgiveness.

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the participatory
     panopticon
           Jamais Cascio
         October 16, 2012
UCSC Talk
UCSC Talk
UCSC Talk
panopticon
UCSC Talk

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UCSC Talk

  • 1. the participatory panopticon Jamais Cascio October 16, 2012
  • 16. /r/creepshots /r/chokeabitch /r/beatingwomen /r/jailbait /r/picsofdeadjailbait (and more, and worse)
  • 29. Text Compilation created by Andy Baio, Waxy.org
  • 31. Now we’re entering a new era when the village seems about to return. With our senses and memories enhanced prodigiously by new prostheses, suddenly we can “know” the reputations of millions, soon to be billions, of fellow Earth citizens. A tap of your VR eyeglasses will identify any person, along with profiles and alerts, almost as if you had been gossiping about him and her for years. It’s seriously scary prospect and one that is utterly unavoidable. The cities we grew up in were semi-anonymous only because they were primitive. The village is returning. And with it serious, lifelong worry about that state of our reputations. Kids who do not know this are playing with fire. They had better hope that the village will be a nice one. A village that shrugs a lot, and forgives. — David Brin, 2007
  • 38. Jamais Cascio @cascio openthefuture.com the participatory panopticon October 16, 2012

Editor's Notes

  1. Title page\n
  2. Why futurism/foresight matters. It’s not about predicting jet packs, it’s about understanding the implications of present-day choices, and how seemingly disparate forces combine.\n
  3. I attended UCSC myself. Here’s the embarrassing proof.\n
  4. First part of the talk: panopticon concept\n
  5. Panopticon was Jeremy Bentham’s concept of a prison; the term now has a broader use.\n
  6. The panopticon world is one where whatever we do is observable; in fact, one might assume that everything you do and say can be recorded.\n
  7. The most important rule: the Internet never forgets. If something hits the net, it’s going to stick around for years.\n
  8. The most important rule: the Internet never forgets. If something hits the net, it’s going to stick around for years.\n
  9. The most important rule: the Internet never forgets. If something hits the net, it’s going to stick around for years.\n
  10. Here’s an example -- my first public foray onto the Internet, USENET in this case, back in July of 1991.\n
  11. Privacy and secrecy. Is there a difference?\n
  12. It’s a complex question. Here’s a guy who made a name for himself putting pictures on Reddit of underage girls in skimpy outfits, as well as surreptitious photos of adult women in public (accidentally exposing themselves, or bending over, etc.). Gawker found out who he was, and outed (“doxxed”) him. Reddit admins and some users protested, claiming that he had a right of anonymity.\n
  13. Those underage girl pictures, btw, largely came from Facebook.\n
  14. And whatever you do with your privacy restrictions, remember that your friends -- and you may have many friends -- can repost and use whatever they can see of yours.\n
  15. We’re becoming a digital reputation society.\n
  16. And it’s one in which lying about ourselves may be the only tool we have left to control what people know about us.\n
  17. Watching from above.\n
  18. How we normally think of surveillance. Government in action.\n
  19. But while the government may be powerful, it’s not the only observer. Corporate surveillance is increasingly common, and harder to control.\n
  20. Including this because it’s my favorite image of surveillance.\n
  21. Watching from below.\n
  22. Cameraphones have become a remarkable tool of bottom-up observation. Millions of devices, each one as much a revolutionary symbol as the AK47 was in the 20th century.\n
  23. A cameraphone can reshape an election.\n
  24. And the abundance of cameraphones means that we can build narratives and versions of reality that take into account multiple perspectives.\n
  25. Where things get even more complex.\n
  26. It’s happening whether we like it or not. And it matters.\n
  27. One example of the complexity.\n
  28. Another example. And just because it’s going after a position you oppose, doesn’t mean that the same tool can’t be turned against the things you like.\n
  29. The future!\n
  30. Drones are ubiquitous, and getting cheaper.\n
  31. AR glasses will allow us to have an always-on layer of info, including identifying people.\n
  32. And our tools will inevitably need/have filters, which themselves can be used for reasons beyond ad-blocking.\n
  33. \n