There was a time when we weren’t constantly being watched, when surveillance cameras weren’t outside of so many homes, restaurants, businesses and schools. But it’s not just organizations that have eyes on us. Almost every single one of us is equipped with technology that gives us the ability to record each other at every moment of our waking lives. We are watching each other in unprecedented ways, but most people aren’t upset or protesting the new wave of surveillance.
WDET, in partnership Science Gallery at MSU, recently produced a new podcast called “Tracked and Traced” that touches on these themes and more. It explores the many different ways we are all being watched in and around Detroit.
“One of the things that we know, for a fact, is, if you build surveillance infrastructure it will eventually be abused.” — Eric Williams, managing attorney with the Detroit Justice Center’s Economic Equity Practice
Listen: How we’re being watched by local organizations — and each other.
Laura Herberg is a reporter for WDET. She says there is evidence that Project Green Light is able to close cases more quickly, but that the data doesn’t exist to suggest that it deters crime, even though the Detroit Police Department claims it does. “(The police) just don’t have the numbers to bring forward to support it,” she says.
Eric Williams is a managing attorney with the Detroit Justice Center’s Economic Equity Practice. He says he has many concerns with Project Green Light, including its potential violations of our civil liberties, wasteful spending of public funding and the creation of surveillance infrastructure that often stays after it’s implemented. “One of the things that we know, for a fact, is, if you build surveillance infrastructure it will eventually be abused,” says Williams.
“Tracked and Traced” is a podcast that is a production made by WDET and Science Gallery at MSU. New episodes come out every other week and can be found wherever you get podcasts or at WDET.org. You can find the link to the show here.