The 10 Hypotheses of equiveillance

  1. (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.
  2. (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.
  3. (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.
  4. (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"?
  5. (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.
  6. (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.
  7. (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.
  8. (disabled). These legal protections will first emerge in the form of assistance to the disabled...
  9. (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.
  10. (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 evidence.

5:30pm, BYOBAT