Smile, You’re On Camera

909 Words4 Pages
Mitchell Gray’s paper “Urban Surveillance and Panopticism: will we recognize the facial recognition society?” analyzes the effects of the use of facial recognition surveillance devices as a reaction to perceptions of “insecurity” in urban environments. Mitchell Gray views facial recognition systems as “part of an attempt to reduce insecurity through knowledge and vision, but, paradoxically, their use may add to insecurity by transforming society in unanticipated directions.” Facial recognition, he insists, will expand the disciplinary power of panoptic surveillance into the present-day urban environment. The potential of facial recognition systems knows no bounds, and will ultimately change society’s perception of privacy while at the same time, affect the overall behavior of individuals and groups in publicly surveillanced areas. Perhaps most importantly, facial recognition has the potential to break down the final barriers of what many consider a taboo in surveillance: the ability to predict future actions of individuals by searching for the tiny “microexpressions” that consistently flash over each individual’s face as they contemplate which decision they will make next. These new abilities in surveillance, while effective, will finally unlock what individuals in the panoptic area are planning to do with themselves, personal privacy will become a thing of the past, and society will take one step closer towards becoming one solid mass of regimented and edited ideas. While Foucault designed a panopticon reliant on one central all-seeing eye, Mr. Gray counters that in today’s world millions of digital eyes is always better than one. Technology of present day makes such surveillance not only possible, but also quite logical and ea... ... middle of paper ... ...ons and ideas of panopticism. By adding the modern day twist and use of recently developed technology, Mr. Gray opens the door to a new age of modern day panopticons that can be implemented by practically any willing party. The modern day relation of such mechanisms seems to break down even the most complicated aspects of Foucault’s “Panopticism” into the simplest of nonprofessionals’ terms. Gray’s article tackled the effectiveness of Foucault’s ideas in modern society and successfully arrived at the conclusion that as technology advances, the ability to employ a more “perfect” Panopticon becomes simpler and simpler with each advance in surveillance. Works Cited Gray, Mitchell. “Urban Surveillance and Panopticism: “Urban Surveillance and Panopticism: will we recognize the facial recognition society?” Surveillance & Society 2003: 314-330. ProQuest. Web. 7 Mar. 2010.
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