Ok, this freaks even me out.
As many of you already know, the NYPD has been constructing a major surveillance initiative aimed primarily at the financial district but now spreading to mid-town. Footage from surveillance cameras all over the Wall Street area is being processed in a centralized unit using state of the art face and gait recognition software. With this technology, New York City Police offers can track a suspect (or an OWS protester, for example) from one camera’s range to another, compare his or her face with an already existing database of potentially dangerous individuals (or peaceful protesters), and link it up with whatever other information it has already gathered on the suspect/innocent civilian.
Ok. Let’s just say we want to make an argument in favor of this type of spying for the sake of security. As Mayor Bloomberg recently said: “As the world gets more dangerous, people are willing to have infringements on their personal freedoms that they would not before.”
I’m not going to argue with this opinion right now, because I’m more concerned with another detail of this program, namely the fact that the NYPD has reserved space in this central processing station for high level employees of Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.
Yes you read that right. Goldman Sachs and Citigroup are watching you, with the courteous help of the NYPD.
Let me state for the record as a US citizen and occasional pedestrian in the Wall Street area, I do not give Goldman Sachs or Citigroup permission to spy on me. Ever. Whatever bargain Americans are willing to make for the sake of security, I’m pretty sure the vast majority are not willing to hand over their privacy to the likes of Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.