The 10 Hypotheses of equiveillance
- (techlaw). Sousveillance will become a
major force and industry,
despite initial opposition. Like surveillance, sousveillance
technology will outstrip many laws, and will be another example of
technology moving forward more quickly than the legal framework that
grows around it.
- (privacy). Over the past 30 years, sousveillance practice has raised
many new privacy, legal, and ethical issues, and these issues will
become central as the sousveillance industry grows.
- (incidentalism). Sousveillance of the most pure form, is not merely
the carrying around of a hand-held camera, but, rather, must include
elements of incidentalist imaging to succeed. For this reason, camera
phones, pocket organizers containing cameras in them, and wristwatch
cameras, for example, exhibit an incidentalist imaging effect not
experienced with even the very smallest of handheld digital cameras. A
device exhibits incidentalist imaging when it can capture images as
well as perform at least one other important and socially justifiable
function that does not involve capturing images. This "backgrounding"
by another socially justifiable function is a technology that is
essential for sousveillance to take root in most societies.
- (accidentalism). Cameraphones, cameraPDAs, and wristcameras have
brought sousveillance to a new level. The next major level is that
which affords the user deniability for the intentionality of image
capture. This feature may be implemented by a random or automated
image capture, or by allowing others to remotely initiate image
capture. In this way image capture becomes accidental, and this
accidentalism affords the user with a strategic ambiguity when asked
such questions as "are you taking pictures of me now"?
- (nonwillfulness). Accidentalism will be taken to a new level when it
can be a requirement of a role player, such as a clerk. Just as
surveillance is hierarchical, thus creating an industry that can
defend itself from criticism (e.g. "don't ask me why there's a
surveillance camera in my store, I only work here"), sousveillance
will also rise to this same level of deniability. Accidentalism by
itself might be regarded as willful blindness. But when combined with,
for example, a requirement to participate in sousveillance (e.g.
sousveillance technology might, for example, become part of a clerk's
uniform) accidentalism becomes nonwillful blindness.
- (nonwillful blindness). Various forms of continuous incidentalist
imaging will give rise to an industry behind products and services for
continuous sousveillance. Continuous sousveillance will make
sousveillance the norm, rather than the exception, for at least some
individuals in society.
- (protection). Unlike surveillance, sousveillance will require a
strong legal framework for its protection, and not just its
limitation. Along these lines, certain legal protections will be
required to ensure access to those who depend on sousveillance.
- (disabled). These legal protections will first emerge in the form of
assistance to the disabled...
- (differently abled). The space of those considered to be disabled
will gradually expand, over time, as the technological threshold falls
and the sousveillance industry grows.
- (other benefits). These legal protections will expand, to encompass
other legitimate and reasonable uses of sousveillance, such as
artistic and technosocial inquiry, photojournalism, and collection of