Friday, September 16, 2005


I was reading Jen M's post on webcams and I agree that the thought of walking around somewhere not knowing you could be being watched is quite a scary thought! It's definitely something to think about when we address the idea of privacy, and I also believe that there are certain areas that should remain private.

All this talk of webcams made me think of one that i know is operating in NewZealand. There could be more, im not sure - but the one i know of is in Mount Maunganui. The site shows a number of areas, such as Bayfair shopping centre, the movie theatre, the surf beach, harbour beach and a view of the city. These cams however, have created a lot of debate because not only are these webcams able to view people in public spaces, but people sitting behind the computer watching are able to control the camera and navigate around to look at what they want to. They are able to move the camera left and right, up and down, as well as zoom into anything they wish to. For many, and especially people lying on the beach in the middle of summer for example, this takes privacy and webcams to a whole new level! Awhile ago, these webcams appeared on the news as there had been a number of complaints from members of the public. They complained that it was too freaky to be on the beach and have someone that you cannot see, zoom the camera towards you. A fair comment in many ways i think! Who knows who is behind the computer controlling the camera! As i understand it, you are only limited to a minute in 'control' of the camera, but there doesnt seem to be a limit as to how many times you can use it etc.

Do you think that being able to control the webcam is crossing the public/private boundary?? Or do you think that this is no worse than cameras in general?


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