The proliferation of CCTV cameras in Chicago caught the eye of creative designer Scott Urban, whose response was to develop spectacles preventing faces from being captured on camera.
"When I realized I am on CCTV cameras hundreds of times every day each time I leave my house, I started to contemplate what was going on. I did not feel it was proper yet at the same time there was essentially nothing I could do about it. Then I came up with a ridiculous idea, what if I made eyewear that would shield me from cameras when I left the house?" Mr. Urban told Sputnik.
He subsequently spent two years researching his idea, before realizing his vision with Reflectacles Ghost. Urban suggests the glasses, "give us the option of anonymity."
Reflectacles are reflective eyewear that work by bouncing light directly back to the source. When the frames get up close to the origin of the light, for example a lens of a car head light, they reflect brightly.
"I am not against the use of CCTV or any means of monitoring the public as it always has been and always will be used indefinitely and increasingly so. The only thing that can be done from here out is to react against the means of technology."
"Until regulations are made stating that one's face must be seen at all times in every public space, Ghost gives us the option of anonymity," Urban told Sputnik.
Scott Urban says surveillance and facial-recognition technologies "are and always will be ahead of the game."
However, "something as simple as a pair of Reflectacles Ghost can eliminate the all-seeing eye from most of the CCTV cameras averagely in use," Urban explains.
"They are the ones with government money being fed into their businesses," he said.
"Surveillance is essentially an extension of the military-industrial complex. It all feeds into the same type of thought of fear and money which is paid down to the insider businesses",Urban told Sputnik.
Nothing to Hide
Privacy, Urban believes is exploited by "those who create the surveillance apparatus or those dependent upon its implementation for their survival."
"I would like to see the lawmakers' attempt to make a law on this topic as people who are into their own Privacy as a human right span across all spectrums."
Scott Urban views privacy through a scatalogical lens.
"To those who pull the old 'nothing to hide' argument, I say let me see you take a sh**."
"I will stand right next to you, observing you, taking notes, as you try your best to squeeze one out. It may stink, but then you can tell me about privacy," he told Sputnik.
There is currently no law or framework governing the surveillance system in Britain, which is described as a 'world leader' in the use of CCTV cameras following the adaptation of military technology used by the British Army during the conflict in Northern Ireland in the 1990s.
CCTV was a cheaper alternative to paying security guards and police officers to patrol streets; the humble human eye superseded by surveillance technology.
Today, the regulation of CCTV is made difficult by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, according to Tony Porter, the UK's independent surveillance camera commissioner. The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) claims there are almost six million cameras; on average one camera for every 14 people.
In his annual report for the British government, Tony Porter suggests the UK should be prepared to better regulate the use of CCTV by private and public bodies across the country.
"Bad surveillance is conducted when these standards are absent, where the public lacks confidence in its presence and operation, and confused about where accountability for its use and regulatory accountability lies," Tony Porter says, suggesting that the British government take a "more common sense position" on the regulation of CCTV.
Delighted my fourth Annual Report was presented to Parliament today;https://t.co/OvU4ubUT2h— Tony Porter SCC (@surcamcom) January 8, 2018
"The ability of the State and indeed the commercial sector to physically and intrusively track the citizen in public spaces is well and truly upon us," Tony Porter, the UKs independent surveillance camera commissioner said in his annual report.
I am not anti Surveillance just anti bad Surveillance. Proper oversight, justification, legitimacy,transparency req’d for effective use! https://t.co/UtL1Cs5KJ0— Tony Porter SCC (@surcamcom) November 3, 2017
As swathes of cameras continue to infiltrate public and private property, the technology revolution has opened the doors to body worn cameras and thermal imaging cameras on drones.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the position of Sputnik.