At this point, we have seen several cases where a person in authority is caught with their pants down (either figuratively or literally), and need to explain themselves at best, or back peddle at worst. I am not referring to any particular case, although there are several to choose from. In 2012, Mitt Romney was recorded sharing his less than ideal opinion of the voter demographic. A more recent example would be the Baltimore Police case where an officer was supposedly planting the drugs that he would later find. And of course, the most recent story, the one which inspired this article, was when a Salt Lake City hospital nurse, Alex Wubbels, was arrested for doing her job by protecting her patient from an unlawful drawing of his blood on July 26th earlier this year.
This article is not about who was at fault, or who the victims are in any of the above examples. You as the reader can come up with your opinion on those cases without reading this piece. What we should focus on today is pretty simple. People in authority and positions of power do NOT understand how technology has changed the game.
In each of these cases it was the camera, whether known or unknown recording, that brought down the authority figure. When people think they are not being recorded, or simply don’t know, it seems that their true feelings or intentions come out. Conversely, when an individual knows they are under surveillance, their behavior changes to fit the expectations of social norms. For a person of power/authority the biggest problem is that there are cameras everywhere. According to statista.com, in 2017, the estimated number of smartphones in use is currently at 2.32 billion devices. In a first-world country such as the United States with 350 million people, barring any financial constraints, it is safe to assume that everyone around you has a camera on them with the power to record, share, and depending on the content, make your actions go viral.
So, we can say with confidence that, especially if you are in some sort of spotlight (celebrity, politician, law enforcement, etc), your actions are subject to full disclosure — whether you like it or not! Now, is this a good thing or a bad thing? Yes and yes. We here at Chenb0x Development aren’t advocates of surveillance, but what the current landscape has done is level the playing field to where the people who hold power are held under the same scrutiny as the average person. That point, we feel, is a great thing.
In the future, we can expect more stories of this nature until one of two things happen. One, the 2.32 billion cameras around the world suddenly stop working and the elites go back to their cloak and dagger tradecraft, which we don’t find likely. Or two, we all play smarter and assume there are eyes and ears everywhere, which we are on the fence as to whether or not the elites will learn this lesson. The second point, is not us giving into surveillance, but just being realistic in understanding the current rules of the game.
It’s a jungle out there, be tech smart!