State University of New York Institute of Technology
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Surveillance & Crowd-Sourcing Of Images Become Focus Of Ethics Controversy

This article is about the realization and concern of surveillance and crowd-sourcing images that rose after the Boston Bombing. I would like to start by saying god bless this technology for the quick detection and recognition of these cowardly terrorists and also the rapid enforcement of justice that followed. Who knows how different these events could have been if it weren’t for this technology in surveillance. But where do you draw the line, or even know if you are being watched when a grave situation is not taking place? Could you be profiled as a terrorist anytime you are out in public? Possibly. Obviously this is an invasion of privacy and can lead to many undesirable outcomes. In the article the author mentioned that, for example, the video could have been used to identify people who were casually smoking marijuana as they watched the race. Now I’m not going to say that smoking marijuana in public is "ok" or even your right (because it's not), it's just simply a stupid thing to do even though it does not stop some people from doing it. Even though there is solid proof of a violation it is not right in being an infraction of privacy upon the public. First of all, such allegations may not be true and can damage one's character in the event of actions taken or litigation. What if it was Tabaco being smoked and passed around in a smoking device that is usually associated with the smoking of marijuana? What if someone smoked both substances from this device and shared a smoke of tobacco with you because you lost/forgot your own and you have no prior knowledge of what they use the device for and can be legally charged with a violation because of the residue that could be found within this device. How about if you were just simply smoking a cigarette and you were confronted on the spot for marijuana use after surveillance was taken, then searched for this alleged marijuana, and then found pain pills in possession of a person who was possibly bringing them to a family member who left them at home and needed them for the race they were in and could not be found or reached at the time. Although these things sound like they could never happen or just technicalities that free the guilty, who’s to say they couldn’t happen or even possibly have? With the use of a popular crutch-phrase, it can be said, “wrong place, wrong time”. This marijuana example is just a convenient example taken from the text and easy to elaborate on. You can only imagine how many other “occurrences” could arise if this violation of privacy was allowed. In the event of being asked where to draw the line in proper use of this technology, conservatively, I would have to say it be reserved for circumstances that bear the seriousness of events such as the Boston Bombings.      


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