Tuesday, 31 August 2010

The 'Big Brother' Generation Seeking Privacy

This collection of images aptly named 'The Big Brother Generation Seeking Privacy' is the result of a photo shoot that was borne out of the question of privacy in this modern 'global' world. David Aaronovitch told in an article he wrote for the Times Newspaper that we are reported to be captured by Closed-Circuit Television [Security Cameras] (CCTV) on average 300 times a day in the United Kingdom on a network of 4.2 million CCTV cameras dotted across the country. This in addition to the simplicity by which on can gain often detailed knowledge about another person simply by 'googling' them leaves me wondering if there really is any privacy left in our society. The latter is down to one's control of their personal information, however the latter is so far beyond our control that we can go through life without even noticing it is happening to us at such an alarming rate. how often do we go into a public place and interact without noticing the thirty or so cameras that are sharing that experience with us and some even recording it?
We hear of celebrities being hounded by paparazzi photographers and gossip mongers and we look at that and say, well they have put themselves out there on the spot light so what else do they expect. Yet when it is closer to home and by the mere act of stepping outside your home you are photographed up to 300 times without your knowledge, images you will never see yet they may lead to surveillance of your home, internet usage, your family...particularly in the age of intensified terrorism where we live in fear and suspicion. The result is that we involuntarily live in a country sided 'Big Brother' house without applying to join the reality show or any change of winng the prize money at the end, or indeed getting an end.
Some would argue of the security benefits when we consider that such CCTV footage has lead to the detailing of the last movements of a missing or murdered person; the case of the Ipswich murders comes to mind, or the tracing of suspected terrorists. Whilst others would take the position that if you have not committed a crime or behave in appropriately why should you worry? This is when the question of a Right to Privacy is most important. Privacy is the the right to be free from unsanctioned intrusion; the quality or condition of being removed from the constant view and scrutiny of another.
When we correctly deduce the essence of its meaning, privacy goes far beyond being able to live behind closed doors. It is also the ability to be able to live without said doors whilst enjoying an absence of penetration from any source without your express consent, no without your invitation. That is the fundamental human right that is evaded through this excessive monitoring in every public place from the street you live, the bank where you keep your money to your local shopping centre and petrol station.There is a lot to be said for one having the liberty to have privacy; particularly in a democracy that prides itself on the choice of the individual and the protection of said individual's human rights. However thus far, this right to privacy has eluded us and is poised to continue to do so as the global threats of terror turn the free man...the law abiding citizen into a goldfish in a bowl...a suspect...a caged bird whose life is on display for all to see...

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