What if an undetermined number of sensors and cameras would monitor everything from the sale of chewing gum, to smoking in prohibited areas, to littering on the streets?
What if older people would be watched and monitored in their homes — including the frequency of going to the bathroom? And what if every movement of your vehicle would be tracked?
All these would be done to “benefit” you; and to “better connect” you with the community. Ultimately creating much cleaner and safer neighborhoods.
Would you allow your government to monitor all of these in exchange for safety?
No, this is not a sci-fi scenario.
This is exactly what is happening in Singapore.
Watts and Purnell wrote an excellent article in the Journal about this:
“SINGAPORE — This wealthy financial center is known world-wide for its tidy streets and tight controls on personal behavior, including famous restrictions on the sale of chewing gum to keep the city clean.
Now Singapore may soon be known for something else: the most extensive effort to collect data on daily living ever attempted in a city. ”
The article goes on to say that, under the Singapore law, there would be no need to have court approval or to inform the citizens about how the collected data would be used.
Citizens in Singapore seem to have lots of faith in their government.
The article has some interesting commentaries.
Referring to the, toilet monitoring for general health: “I guess one would get a coupon for laxative via e mail if the toilet is not used for a day.”
One reader simply said this:
Safety or liberty: Sorry, I choose liberty.