“…Chip maker Qualcomm is promoting a platform for smartphone-powered virtual and augmented reality headsets that rely on 5G networks, alongside partners like Acer, LG, and Sprint. The company announced its plans today at Mobile World Congress, saying it would help push phone-powered VR and AR (collectively, “XR”) headsets onto the market in 2019.” - https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/25/18239108/qualcomm-5g-vr-ar-xr-viewer-headset-platform-mwc-2019

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“…These Nreal Light glasses are able to offer a sharp and vivid image thanks to 1080p laser projectors (up to 60 fps) for each eye, all the while offering a 52-degree field of view which easily beats the Magic Leap One. And of course, you can still see the outside world while enjoying your digital content. The frame has dual microphones along the top for clearer reception, along with stereo speakers towards the end of both foldable arms (or you can switch to Bluetooth headphones), plus brightness buttons on one of the arms.” - https://www.engadget.com/2019/01/08/nreal-light-mixed-reality-glasses-sunglasses-hands-on/

Image:  David Dees

Image: David Dees

Posted
Authoralexanderhayes
Image: Screenshot - Search Inquiry

Image: Screenshot - Search Inquiry

The City of Perth, Western Australia website ( https://www.perth.wa.gov.au) details how my visit using the Internet is logged in relation to my navigation or inquiry;

“...When you visit our website, the web content management system and our Internet Service Provider automatically records your visit and logs the following information for content personalisation and statistical purposes:

  • Your IP address

  • Your top level domain name (e.g. .com, .net, .gov etc)

  • The date and time of your visit to the site

  • The pages accessed and documents downloaded

  • Time spent on individual pages

  • Time spent overall on the site

  • Browser type and version

  • Referring site and media asset (eg search engine or display advertisement)...


Using the search function provided in the City of Perth, Western Australia website I was unable to locate any public records, policy articles nor public statements defining or confirming the use of ‘body worn camera’ technologies or ‘BWC’ using the following parameters:

  • ‘body worn camera’

  • ‘parking inspectors body cams’

  • ‘body cameras promote safer community’

  • ‘perth parking inspectors fitted with body cameras’

Using the same search parameters I located eleven (11) Internet accessible articles and podcasts dating back to early 2017 on this topic by Internet search engine, Google.

I rang the City of Perth main contact line at 11:45 AM on Thursday 6th December which automatically via a voice recording informed me that my call would be recorded for training and quality assurance purposes. After selecting option ‘5’ to speak with an ‘other inquiries’ Officer,  I clearly stated that I wished to speak with the most relevant person who could inform my questions relating to ‘body worn camera technologies that the City of Perth Traffic Infringement or other Officers now wear in their line of public duty’.

I was placed on hold and the phone was answered by an individual who identified themself by their first name only and again I was asked what the nature of my inquiry was, within which I identified that my inquiry was relating to research related to ‘the use of body worn camera technologies that City of Perth has issued it’s parking inspectors and other officers with’.

I was again placed on hold and shortly after by a third person I was informed that ‘Kylie XXXXXX, Business Operations Officer’ could answer my inquiry however that person was ‘on leave’ until 10 December, 2018.

I asked for Kylie’s email address but was not provided that contact. I then left my own personal email address and mobile phone number and was assured that ‘Kylie’ would respond to my inquiry. The purpose of this correspondence and recount is to inform myself and others as to the socio-ethical implications   on society that emanate by examination of the purpose and deployment by the City of Perth of ‘body worn camera’ technologies, systems and associated services.

The City of Perth ‘Terms & Conditions’ page clearly states it will record my interaction with the City Of Perth website and will be used  to inform my inquiry and ‘to improve its service and quality assurance in relation to my inquiry’.

My inquiry remains as follows.

As surveillance cameras in the area will detail, on Thursday 6th December 2018 at around 10:00 AM I parked my vehicle close to the junction of Gooderich and Hill Street in Perth, Western Australia. I purchased a parking ticket, placed it visibly in the vehicle and walked to the Royal Perth Hospital a short distance away. Shortly after, at 10:40 AM I returned to the vehicle where I observed a City of Perth Parking Infringement Officer in close proximity.

I approached the Officer slowly, walking and indicating audibly that I wished to speak with them politely. I introduced myself as a ‘researcher with an interest in body worn cameras’ that the officer wore on the left hand chest / shoulder.

The camera I noted was Cadmium red in colour and body mounted on a high visibility vest. I was careful to stand a distance away from the Officer and to ask the questions in a quiet and inquiring manner.

My first question of the Officer was why the Officer was required to wear a body camera whilst performing in the line of their public duty. I was informed by the Officer that the camera was ‘for your personal safety and for my personal safety’.

I questioned what danger I was being protected from and the Officer stated that in their line of duty they sometimes encounter ‘heated discussions’ and that these had in the past led to violent encounters ‘so the cameras are a deterrent from those situations occurring’. I asked whether I was being recorded by the camera or by any other device the Officer was wearing which included a Bluetooth hands-free headset in one ear.

The Officer indicated that they were required to inform those in their contact at the point of recording that they would be recording by means of the body worn camera. The Officer also pointed to a small ‘patch’ on their high visibility jacket that stated that the Officer was wearing a body worn camera.

The Officer unprompted then indicated that at the point of recording they would also ‘radio’ or ‘signal’ to a ‘back-to-base’ contact who would ‘trigger’ CCTV cameras in the near vicinity to the ‘location of the target’. The Officer indicated with a hand gesture that this occurred via their wearable radio contact device and pointed with the other hand at surveillance cameras on private buildings opposite our location and also at ‘gimbal’ cameras close by on the street corner power poles.

I then inquired whether the Officer considered themself therefore to be ‘with due respect a mobile CCTV unit’ acknowledging their capacity to ‘trigger’ additional surveillance from their given geolocation as an extension of their own capacity to record. The Officer indicated that ‘yes, we are here to keep everyone safe in the city’.

My last question of the Officer was to inquire whether it was permissible to photograph the Officer wearing the body worn camera. The Officer indicated that I was not permitted to take a photograph nor record the Officer in their line of duty because ‘I do not want my personal details nor features distributed by social media over the Internet’.

I then thanked the officer for their time and responses and returned to my car. I note that at no time was I asked to identify myself by name or by any other identification during our point of discussion.

I consider the response by the Officer as courteous and polite without any element of threat nor untoward issue.

My inquiry, as a member of the public and as an interested researcher in this field, is composed as questions seeking answers as follows;

  1. Why is there currently little or no access to accessible information from the City of Perth website detailing use, type, intent, governance of this technology now visibly deployed on City of Perth Officers?

  2. In addition to video and audio recording, do these technologies also capture, process and inform Officers by facial recognition, ANPR or other artificial intelligence enabled means, data to inform the Officer’s response to those members of the public they come in contact with?

  3. What privacy provisions does the City of Perth observe in relation to the use of these technologies as Officers move between public, municipal and private place?

  4. Where are the publicly accessible use cases, public relations statements and records of stakeholder consultations that inform the public's awareness and capacity for comment regarding claims that BWC ensure ‘safety’?

  5. Which cultural and social welfare organisations has the City of Perth involved in the decision making to deploy this technology as a means of surveillance to act in a form of deterrence for behaviours deemed as inappropriate within the City of Perth precinct?

This inquiry has been sent to the City of Perth main contact and has been published through my personal Uberveillance.com website as a means through which to inform those who respond to my inquiry.




Posted
Authoralexanderhayes
Google Maps - 142 High Street, Fremantle, Australia

Google Maps - 142 High Street, Fremantle, Australia


In Australia there are strict and clear citizen rights which govern and substantiate the right under Freedom of The Press and as a individual to take photos of clearly breaches of these to inform the public of these incidents or instances.

Today, my partner Magali McDuffie and I were horrified to witness and document a clearly sinister creep of of abject trajectory in central Fremantle, port city of Perth, Western Australia. This set of buildings and the ‘business’ within are of a highly dubious nature, a clearly explosive leap from standard peripheral surveillance for purposes of ‘safety’ now to a set of obvious citizen and public profiling.

We counted no less than 28 cameras which obviously scope the entire street and everything that may come within 300 metres of this building. Under the FOP accord, as Australian citizens we object to this proliferation for citizen profiling intent and we categorically align our skepticism to the breaches in social justice and human rights that those countries that are implementing these profiling surveillance mechanisms propagate.

We draw you attention to, your inquiry and your social comment in relation to statement such as ‘….PRIVATE PROPERTY - Right to pass by permission and subject to control of the Owner’

No, you have NO right to control my ‘passing’ your building and this type of implementation IS a civil breach of the highest accord across the continent.

Image: Alexander Hayes

Image: Alexander Hayes



Posted
Authoralexanderhayes

"...Weenect Kids lets you always know where your child is. The GPS tracker is connected to your smartphone through a mobile app so that you can check their location at any time on a map." - Read more

A must watch TED talk for anyone interested in privacy and social media.

Thanks MGM

Image: Katina Michael 2015

So here we are in 2015, where one of the most respected and lead media agencies of Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Commission is encouraging children to switch their webcams on and record themselves to be alongside the characters "....not essential to the game but it allows you to enjoy an extra special experience."

Seriously?

If it wasn't that the fact that it is ABC app developers distributing the message I'm sure we would have the Australian Federal Police shutting it down and sending out a international trigger alert.

So lets take a step back and revisit the case where Matel thought it would be a great idea to build an SD camera into the womb or chest of a Barbie doll, USB plug in it's butt and encourage kids to upload their lap play!

The BBC brought this to the attention of the world in 2010 - http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-11930727

The post on this harks back a bit but it's well worth revisiting what Associate Professor Katina Michael had to say at the time on the matter - https://goo.gl/uYQP8W

Both cases bring some serious considerations to the forefront for debate and these could be framed within the socio-ethical context.

Did the developers at the time of bringing these inventions to the marketplace, for even a minute, consider building in socio-ethical reasoning, using an adaptive framework that is cross-cultural, contextual to thwart the release of these technologies that are obviously in breach or likely to be in breach of national or international laws?

For that matter, does it cross the minds of engineers in their race to realise the dreams of the science fiction writers dystopia, that there are childrens well being at stake here? 

Unlikely.

So lets look at another case where this "load-your-yourself-for-further-fun' is occurring in other areas of the gaming world.

Namco Bandai Games Inc. has a similar such strategy employed on their sit-down car racing games that pepper many nations and entertainment venues.

The premise is that when you swipe your credit card to start the game it prompts you to use the accelerator pedal to "capture" a photo of your self seated, up close and portrait in style that is then loaded into the game interface as a player visual place holder. Each player is then able to "see" the others they are competing with on that bank of 5 gaming machines....but wait, there is more.

On the virtual car track there might be 20 or thirty cars racing around the track and each and every one of those cars also has images hovering above each car containing the facial features of children (players) who may have long left the game and in fact even left the premises. As you will see in image one (1) above I have depicted in true sousveillance style the general scale and composition as to what is captured of the player.

In the other photos you will identify children peering up into the camera which proceeds to take up to ten images at a time and then present them back to the player to select from.

In essence, the gaming machine is a networked device (internet enabled) that for all intents and purposes does nothing more than take a series of photos of the player and then they use that for the entertainment of the others seeing themselves and in competition racing against each other - literally.

It begs the question of the provider, summed up here as a series of questions unanswered:

  • Where was the privacy declaration that childrens images were NOT being stored for the re-marketing of the game to players in new and prospective proximal, walk by marketing?
  • Are images captured of innocent people who are captured amongst these high definition depictions of players seated used also and elsewhere?
  • Are these games networked and the images being transmitted across the internet to other gaming machines and therefore peoples identity being used to market this and potentially many other products based on age, geolocation, facial identity and any number of other body sensing capabilities built into these machines?
  • When the game is "over" can we then be assured as a consumer that our facial identity will not re-appear and be used for further marketing of the game?

In conclusion, we live in a society that has become accustomed to the unanswerable, where our basic rights as a human to feel our way forward using our instinct has been denied. Our proximity to everyday locations such as shopping centres have become a multiplicity of feeds, or re-picturing, of an imbued distrust of whereabouts never mind whom we are.

We have accepted that even a simple children's game is now potentially an identify harvesting activity and for the convenience we are promised upgrades and further levels of convenience.

The Australian Broadcast Commission has clearly a lot to answer to, but again, to what degree are such breaches of a socio-ethical consideration amongst those who would argue that it is a matter of socio-technical convenience, entertainment and choice that governs what is on-sold despite all the claims that "your data is safe with us".

Clearly, we are descending deeper into the night garden with it's myriad of murky monikers that evade ethical design and thwart useful privacy assured user interfaces.