In class, we went through a problem statement analysis to identify and understand the Issues of ‘online privacy’. From the previous week of the ‘Issue mapping’ exercise, we underpinned various scenarios/ design complexities in our vast field of opportunities to explore. From the mapping exercise, I wanted to further investigate the roles of technology in society and their relations with data and the digital sphere. In particular, I wanted to understand the role of a surveillance camera in a public/ private space and the Interactions with the general audience.
The Image above shows my analysis on this Issue and their relations to who, what, where, when and why. This process of understanding the stakeholders and participants of surveillance in a space will generate scenarios and potential solutions to solve this issue.
From my analysis, I’ve determined that the problem affects the entire space of a location whether in a public or private context. This issue is generally associated greatly in a geographical sense than any specific target audience. So what is the Issue?
The objective and function of a surveillance camera are to optimise security and safety in our communities, private property and infrastructures. CCTV (closed circuit television) cameras are a ubiquitous technology which is Iconically active all around the world. A sub-conscious topic that isn’t actively engaged with the general public. Often forgotten or looked passed. Essentially, the issue is ‘A lack of awareness’ on security cameras in a public/ private space and the transparency of tracking & monitoring that goes on.
Also, In relations to ‘A lack of awareness’. Social Issues also arise when the topic of ‘who is watching us?’ and to what extent is it acceptable? In Six pillars: futures thinking for transforming by Sohail Inayatullah. He speculates on six concepts of emergent future thinking: the used future; the disowned future; alternative future; alignment; models of social change; and uses of the future. To put this reference in a design context. I’m going to critically formulate a connection with Sohail’s disowned future and the issues of the surveillance cameras.
In the article, Sohail states and references homer’s quote that: “Our excellence is our fatal flaw. What we excel at becomes our downfall.” Sohail mentions that we do not see this because we are always too busy on our strategic plans. A future we’ve pushed away that eventually comes back to intimidate us or brings negativity. Essentially to portray this concept, the ‘hare and tortoise’ could be used as a primal focus. The tortoise (a personal reflection of what could’ve been us and the future.) but always so quick and determined we are (like the hare) we’ve exceeded our expectations.
Similar with all this technology. Just like CCTV/ security cameras we’ve created this intricate network of surveillance and data trail to protect our communities, infrastructures and personal well-being that we’ve compromised and forgotten about our very own privacy. This ‘disowned future’ that we have established upon ourselves has contributed towards significant social and ethical issues to individuals, governments, corporations and the internet itself.
The Authoritative Figure
CCTV Live footage feeds aren’t accessed by the general public and only an authoritative figure has access to such data. This brings to question who is watching us? Who has access to the security feeds, what is it used for or where it goes?
We would like to encourage the public to participate and interact with the surveillance cameras. Without the involvement of individuals, the purpose of the camera is obsolete. To be aware of the physical and digital environment and own actions.
Inayatullah, S. 2008, Six pillars: futures thinking for transforming, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp 5, vol.10, viewed 11 September 2016, http://www.benlandau.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Inayatullah-2008-Six-Pillars.pdf