The thought of being ‘under surveillance’ is a bit ‘eek’ isn’t it?
Like, tralalaaaa there you are minding your own business driving to work and the next thing you know there is documented evidence of your coffee order and how many sugars you take (FYI it’s too many, but you do you). What you should probably know is that this isn’t the most hypothetical paragraph in the world either, it does kinda-sorta-maybe happen from time to time. Because, remember, everything we do leaves a digital fingerprint. And wherever we go, we are caught on camera (so stop picking your nose).
You are possibly spiralling now, but rest assured, you don’t have to do that! Because at the end of the day, nobody really cares that you are 3 minutes late to work, but if you are driving a stolen car to get there, well, that’s a different story.
What Does Surveillance Cover?
Surveillance is a broad category that includes everything from the monitoring of behaviour, to activities and information. It is done in a variety of ways including, but not limited to, the following (brace yourself): computers, phones (oooooh wiretapping), cameras, social network analysis (hello Facebook), biometrics, satellite imagery (we see you Google Maps, or maybe that’s you seeing us), human operatives who gather intelligence, data mining and profiling, wireless tracking using mobile phones and RFID tagging, GPS, your devices (including the one you are reading this on), postal interception (hahahaha, who receives post anymore? Oh… oops, sorry), the internet and don’t forget the drones, although that falls within the above mentions, we felt it needed its own shoutout too, because DRONES (what, they’re cool).
So, Are We Watching You?
I mean, yes and no? Look, as you know, we are in the business of CCTV and ANPR cameras. They are systems that are designed to keep an ‘eye out’, as it were, and are continually monitored. They filter data and supply analysis. But only if you did something / are driving something that raises a red flag in a criminal database somewhere. This is observation before action. And it’s observation that is only initiated based on verified documented information received in the first place.
And yes, we are also in the business of intelligence gathering (and a lot of the other stuff mentioned above), that’s how we build profiles and make arrests that keep everyone safer. In short, surveillance is very much a part of the job description.
But you, specifically you reading this right now going ‘ummmmm what?’ We aren’t watching you… we’re watching OUT for you, and that’s a big difference.