Monday, August 27, 2001

Big Brother is Watching
A couple of interesting items about surveillance were transmitted over David Farber's Interesting People list recently. One notice details a New York federal court case in which the judge ordered a cable company to provide federal investigators details about one of its Internet subscribers without informing the subscriber. Then there's an item about Borders using high-tech surveillance equipment to spy on their customers. Word is that the company is to become the first retailer in the world to introduce a security scheme, normally used to trap football hooligans, pedophiles and terrorists, to photograph customers as they enter Borders book stores. SmartFace -- known as FaceIt in the USA -- keeps a database of "unique digital face-maps'" that will check customers' pictures against those of known shoplifters. So keep your head down as you walk through the revolving doors.

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