What is unsurv.org?
14 Mar, 2020
While most people are now painfully aware that their online habits are being followed closely, the fact that surveillance and tracking are creeping into our daily offline lives has been underreported. The reasons for expanding into new areas range from connecting online and offline behaviour for economic reasons to full surveillance operations such as identifying all people in a given area. Whether here in Germany or around the world there is an increasing trend to adopt "intelligent" technologies which most of the time stand in crontrast to basic human rights. In many cases these technologies use biometrics to fulfill their purpose to read our emotions or identify persons.
Here are some international examples:
- Multiple countries (USA 1 2 3, UK 1 2 3, China 1, Ecuador 1) have adopted error-prone biometric systems to police their communities.
- In north west China the state uses biometric systems to oppress the minority group of uighurs.
- Students attention is scored and reported to parents based on their biometrics, accustoming them to surveillance.
- India has adopted a central biometric database where partial datasets have been lost or sold multiple times. (1 2)
Society must make an informed decision about whether to allow these new technologies to enter the public space around us or not. The greater the invasiveness of new ideas, the greater and more detailed the discussion should be. Although the speed of implementation and the inherent complexity of the issues at hand hinder this process, we should strive to hold those discussions. In addition, companies and state agencies have a vested interest in keeping information from the public to be able to expand their projects.
unsurv.org however wants to bridge that gap using different approaches. By simplifying and concentrating information about how your daily life is affected by surveillance and tracking unsurv.org tries to facilitate a discussion about how we want public life to be in the future.
For now unsurv.org offers an android app to capture surveillance cameras automatically as well as manually. There are plans to develop a secure offline device that monitors and reports your daily contacts with surveillance and tracking to you. You can follow the development on GitHub. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or suggestions.