Surveillance Through Technology
Over the years technology has advanced exponentially as new programs and systems have been discovered. Along with these discoveries, such as the cellular telephone, websites such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have become increasingly popular as these devices become more widespread. These platforms fulfill many useful tasks such as communication and entertainment. However, the major flaw they all seem to have in common is the amount of personal information poured into them daily by billions of users around the globe and the lack of safeguards around this information. 1984 by George Orwell served as a warning against the power of technology and how it can be used for surveillance. In the modern era, the use of technology such as cell phones, laptops, and digital cameras has become crucial to surveillance.
China, one of the world's technology leaders is a prime example of how technology is important for surveillance. The controversial “behavioral rating system” is a social ranking ¨score that can be used to determine the rights of the citizens in Chinas communist jurisdiction. In order to enforce this system, a network of “an estimated 176 million cameras” (source F), has been implemented throughout the country. These cameras can detect age, what clothing the person is wearing, and gender, however, the capabilities do not end there. With this information, the person can be identified and linked to a database of statistics like where the person lives, shops, lounges, etc, all of which the person is “scrutinized” for and given a rating D, being the worst, and AAA, being the best. Based on these ratings citizens can “be denied travel or buying an apartment” (source F). In “1984” by George Orwell, devices called “telescreens” are used to watch citizens and flag those who scrutinize, disagree with, or rebel against the parties ideals. While the main idea of the telescreen is that there is “no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment” (source A), this technique requires technology none the less, therefore in today's society technology remains a key factor in surveillance whether it be cameras or telescreens.