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SXSW Interactive 2016

Surveillance, Sousveillance and Body Cams

From the televised video of Eric Garner’s death in a policeman’s chokehold (“I can’t breath”) to footage showing the shooting of Walter Scott at a routine traffic stop in Charleston, smartphone cameras are transforming the balance of power between citizens and state. More than 200 years after Bentham’s Panopticon, a forceful metaphor of an all-seeing centralized power, citizens all over the world are turning the tables, deploying cheap, forceful technologies to watch the watchers. In this session, Oren Yakobovich, an activist distributing hidden cameras to individuals subjected to human rights abuses, discusses the implications of body cams with Omer Tene, a privacy expert.

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  1. On balance, do new video technologies empower the citizens or the state?
  2. Should police and military forces be required to wear body cams despite privacy concerns?
  3. Who wins and who loses in a world subjected to constant monitoring from above and below?



Omer Tene, VP Research & Education, International Association of Privacy Professionals

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