March 11, 2011

Millions of Watchful Eyes

Filed under: Uncategorized — publicandprivatespace @ 2:18 am

by:  Scott Smith


Ever since security cameras became popular and convenient for companies to use to protect themselves and their property; their numbers have grown exponentially.  There were many reasons to the sudden growth of security cameras including the increasing availability of new technology as society went through a ‘technological boom.’  Now small cameras that can be easily concealed are available to the public.  Even though the millions of security cameras that watch us every day provide security, we are trading this security for a large portion of our private space.

These new security cameras have the ability to do things only seen in sci-fi movies just years earlier.  Vlahos describes how the most advanced security cameras can use facial recognition technology to track your location where ever you go.  I definitely feel a little violated knowing that someone out there could know exactly where I am and what I was doing just because I showed my face in front of security camera.  Not only do the cameras have access to watching you, but your online activity can be monitored too.  Employers are the biggest users of this feature to keep an eye on their employees.  Would you feel comfortable at working knowing that your boss was watching your every move?

There are arguments that security cameras provide a feeling of protection.  I know that I personally feel safer in a building that has security guards overseeing the activities.  Cameras are also a great means in protecting personal valuables.  A great example of the sci-fi (which has become our reality) are the cameras used in casinos in the Ocean’s series.  The high tech cameras in this movie can detect heat and recognize faces.  There have been security cameras that have saved lives or brought justice to murderers and thieves.  So, there is no doubt that having an extra overseer that never blinks or needs a break has huge benefits on the public.  My argument that we are trading a vast amount of our privacy for this security is vastly overlooked by the public.

We may feel safer, but cameras are over running our country.  I, like many others, have fell victim to the new type of law enforcement:  red light cameras.  Law enforcements are now using cameras to do their job for them.  Using security cameras does not necessarily provider increased safety, but it definitely costs petty law breakers a lot more money.  Working out of the view of the public also presents the opportunity for the observer to be as biased as he or she pleases.  Camera crews can be hired to use hidden cameras to spy on spouses or friends that you believe to be deceiving you.  Reality television now has television series completely based on hidden cameras watching people’s everyday lives.  We sit and enjoy the comical and usually embarrassing adventures of others without stopping to realize that we are the stars of our own show to someone every day.

Many believe that there is no stopping the takeover of security cameras.  There have been plenty of examples were the courts have ruled in favor of security cameras.  The courts explain that whenever an individual ventures into the public, all their actions are for the public view and that’s why security cameras are legal.  However, I don’t think it is right that these ‘public actions’ should be saved and used to track certain individuals.  I believe that this is a breach of our privacy and safety because a lot of the footage can be accessed by the public in some way or another.  The public should be educated on how often they are being observed because if we leave the security cameras go unchecked we will live in a world dominated by video surveillance.


March 10, 2011

Sexting: Flirting with Trouble

Filed under: Uncategorized — publicandprivatespace @ 10:23 pm

Cara Meder

Within the past decade or so the use of cellphones has become increasingly popular, especially among teenagers.  The popularity of this technology has become so great that it seems as though the young adults that are using them have become dependent on them for many things.  Not only are these cellphones being used to place phone calls, but they are also used to send text messages, picture messages, and video messages.

`With the ability to send a picture to someone at the push of a button it is no wonder how “sexting” has become so popular.  The term “sexting” is used to describe the act of a person sending and/or receiving sexually explicit photographs or text messages via a cellphone and has become a huge topic of discussion in recent years.  Sexting is a trend that has become popular among teenagers especially and the biggest issue with this is that it is not uncommon that this act includes minors.  The Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996 prohibited sexually explicit photographs of a minor engaging in sexual behaviors.  This act is what makes the issue of sexting such a big deal.

When considering the subject of sexting one must wonder where the First Amendment’s freedom of expression comes into play.  Although many would not approve of the sending of explicit photographs or messages, one could argue that it is a way of expressing oneself, and if no one got hurt then some believe that it should not be a crime at all.   Many states are working towards adapting their laws to deal with this new teenage phenomenon because many believe that putting these teenagers on the same level as sex offenders and child pornographers just does not seem right.  Although many states have changed the law to lower the charges they would face if caught, they still make it so they can face up to four months jail time if caught even though the charge is now a misdemeanor.

When these explicit text messages stay between the two intended recipients than the issue is not very prominent.  An issue arises when a minor is involved or when the message spreads beyond the two people.  A story of a young girl named Jessica Logan is one that tends to come up when the issue of sexting comes into play.  Because of this extreme case extreme measures were taken in order to stop it from happening again.  Situations like Jessica’s when a very private thing like sending flirty pictures from girlfriend to boyfriend, become private due to the fact that the boyfriend forwarded the photographs to other people can become very dangerous.  Some things are meant to stay private and when they are made public the results can be disastrous.

Something that has become a problem because of sexting is something the media calls “sextortion” arises which occurs when an individual contacts a person who has sent a sexually suggestive image of him or herself and threatens to expose the image to others unless terms are met such as more pictures or other sexual favors.  It is obvious how this can become a problem since blackmailing is a crime in itself, but if something such as this does not come from the sending of these “sexts” then the problem is not as great.

The simple fact of the matter is, sexting is out there and just because it is now considered illegal that does not mean that teenagers are going to stop doing it.  Over twenty percent of teenagers admit to sending or receiving explicit text messages, and it’s not like we are going to be able to lock them all up.

People Watch Reality TV for all the Wrong Reasons

Filed under: Uncategorized — publicandprivatespace @ 11:40 am

by Kyle Gooding

We have all surely seen a reality television show before and perhaps some of us are even avid fans of this type of genre, but do we ever wonder why we are so drawn to this kind of programming?  It is safe to say that most reality TV shows do not promote the most morally upright standard of living, so why has its popularity skyrocketed in the past few years?  At this point in our lives, chances are when we see these shows on our favorite stations we don’t even pay them a second thought.  They have simply become part of our day to day life and seem to be accepted with little thought as to why they are springing up everywhere, and in all different shapes and sizes.

 These shows do not set out to make us better people.  They achieve ratings by editing their contestants’ lives in order to pack them full of drama and promiscuity.  The people in charge of these programs know that they will receive better ratings if they exploit the more racy sides of life as opposed to people working together to selflessly help others.  And the public as a whole sits down and eats it all up with little to no remorse.  There must be something in particular that is drawing us like flies to this type of media.

 Reiss and Wiltz did a study on why people actually watch reality TV and the results are very interesting.  It was found that status is one of the big reasons people seek fulfillment of their entertainment needs by way of this genre.  Reality television is all about bringing out the worst in people so that the viewer can feel better about his own existence.  The people that specifically view these shows due to an ingrained sense of having a specified place in society, do so in order to feel that the people in these shows are beneath them.  They have a superiority complex that needs to be satisfied by watching other people’s problems.  This need to feel better about themselves can even be accomplished through shows like Biggest Loser that should be seen as purely uplifting.

  Another big reason for watching reality TV is to fulfill a need for voyeurism.  Reality TV is said to portray ordinary people engaged in the practice of being extraordinary, which leads the common man to dream of one day being in the same situation, or to simply live this dream through the people seen on his television.  People see the fame and status that comes with being on public television and decide that if they imitate these ordinary people, than they too will gain a slice of the good life.  Generally this “good life” is anything but good, and adds to the moral decay of our world.

  In some cases, it has been discovered that people actually fulfill their need for human contact through these shows.  This just strengthens the idea that reality TV is taking us away from relationships we should be forming with real people, and instead is attempting to present us with this replacement reality.  The people behind this programming want to draw us into watching their shows, and once they know what we want they will continue to reel us in.  Perhaps this would not be such a big deal, but in almost all cases reality TV appeals to our darkest emotions and desires.  Things like sex and drugs seem to insure the popularity of these shows.

 People also often watch this genre just to see the misfortune of others.  Reality TV does nothing to increase brotherly love or morality, and is actually leading us away from what we should value in society.  A recent show called Wipeout exists solely for the purpose of showing the pain of common people.  This show is all in good taste but at the same time, why do we enjoy seeing the pain of others so much?  I for one enjoy watching Wipeout on occasion, but this progression toward cheap laughs should make us wonder how far people are willing to go to inflict this type of humorous pain on others.  If you consider Jackass to be a reality TV program, than you probably have an idea of the extent some people are willing to go to in order to procure cheap laughs.


We should never simply accept something just because it seems natural to society.  Just because something gains a huge amount of popularity does not always mean it is right, and many times it pays off to think about how the genre actually gained its popularity.  Everything in our lives is present for a reason and if reality TV is a part of our day to day lives, than it must have some hold on our hearts.  So now we fill in the blank: I watch reality TV because ______.  If this answer is not something worthwhile to our development as humans than why do we tune in?

  We are at our most vulnerable when we settle down to be entertained by our televisions, and when something is so readily available to us we think it could not possibly do us any harm.  If we recognize the intent of these programs we will be less likely to be ambushed by this subliminal trap.  The creators of these cheap entertainment programs are in the business to make money, and are willing to exploit our human weaknesses to do so.  It is ok to watch reality TV, but being aware of its allure is essential.  We should always look past the façade of popular culture and develop opinions based on our own beliefs, not on what we are told is the norm.

March 9, 2011

Texting + Teens = Awkward

Filed under: Cell Phones — publicandprivatespace @ 9:10 pm

Julie Whalen

         Cell phones have taken over by storm in the past ten years, especially amongst teenagers.  Almost all teens have a mobile phone, and studies show that almost all teens use SMS messaging on their mobile phones more than they actually use them for talking.  Teens use texting more because texting is easier and faster than having an entire conversation with someone.  But talking is important!  Verbal communication is key to a teen’s development.

          According to a study done by Donna and Frasier Reid, people who usually text on cell phones are significantly more lonely and anxious in social situations than people who usually talk on their cell phones.  Texting lets teens carefully weigh different responses before deciding exactly what they want to say.  It is a stress-free form of communication.  So when they are face-to-face with someone and don’t have time to think through what they want to say they turn into shy, awkward, uncomfortable people.  SMS messages are a safety net, and teens can feel lost without it.  For example, I recently reconnected with a friend I haven’t seen in twelve years on my college’s campus.  We didn’t have time to chat, so we exchanged numbers and text each other later instead.  While that was easy and pleasant, when we actually met up for lunch the conversation was stilted and awkward.  Without texting and the time it gave us to think we didn’t know what to say.

            Naomi Baron agrees with this.  Her research showed a correlation between cell phones and mental distress.  This distress led to problems with their relationships with friends and family.  Texting causes miscommunications too, because SMS messages lack any kind of tone, body language, or facial expression.  Because of this, messages can easily be taken the wrong way, which could wreak havoc on any relationship. 

            Another way texting is harmful to a teenager’s socialization is that it pressures teens to always be instantly available, because if they wait too long to answer a message they seem rude.  Being able to be constantly reached really takes away from a teen’s independence.  The constant availability keeps teens from escaping situations they need to get away from.  For example, when my sister was fighting with her boyfriend, all she wanted was some time alone to relax and think, but because they both had cell phones she couldn’t escape the fight.  Her boyfriend kept texting and calling her, denying her a chance to calm down.  This destroyed their relationship and they never managed to fix it.  Too much talking can be just as bad as not enough, and cell phones enable too much talking.

                Too much texting spells disaster for any teenager’s relationship.  Teens need to forget the keyboard and start talking, really talking, to each other.  Good communication skills are crucial to develop at this time in a person’s life, so teenagers should be encouraged to hang out with their peers in safe social environments.  That is what will help improve teens’ social lives, pull them out of the world of technology, and bring them back to reality.

Residence Hall: Renovation

Filed under: Uncategorized — publicandprivatespace @ 8:28 pm

By: Jennifer Burwell

The layout of residence halls should be modified to satisfy the needs of college students. College students desire a friendlier environment that transitions well from home to a residence hall. The current layout of residence halls need to be renovated to better utilize the space and to satisfy college students who inhabit them.  Campuses are not providing the quality students’ desire and are required to pay for.

Current residence halls consist of similar layouts. Students live with two to four roommates of the same sex. In the University of Cincinnati a student is given an average of 34 square feet to place a bed, dresser, and desk.  Bathrooms are shared by everyone on the same floor of the same sex.  Residence halls often provide common areas that are secluded and are poorly furnished. Current residence halls are not satisfying students’ needs.          


Meeting students’ needs will allow them to be more comfortable at the university or college.  Students require more individual space.  This private space will allow an individual to maintain a personal schedule or a sleeping schedule.  This private space should be quiet in addition to a place that can be personalized by an individual.  Interaction between students is also important.  An area designed to allow students to connect and socialize. Simple improvements to residence halls could improve the satisfaction of students and increase retention rates.

Renovation can sound daunting especially with the scale of a residence hall.  Simple modifications can be made to accommodate students’ desire for private space.  Movable dividers can be added to already remaining rooms to cater to this requirement.  Students can use this divider to their preference whether that is to divide the space of areas to sleep and study, or to divide the space between roommates.  This divider gives occupants the ability to personalize the space to fulfill the individuals’ needs.  It is a versatile option that is cost effect.  Another option to solve this problem could involve a more permanent solution.  Constructing individual rooms will also produce satisfactory results for students.  Private space is not the only complaint from residence hall inhabitants.

Common spaces are included also in the layout and construction of dorms.  However, these spaces are underutilized because of the poor structural design and interior.  Current communal spaces are secluded and lack a designated purpose. If the communal spaces in residence halls were more open to the hallways between rooms or even connected to a large number of rooms more students would utilize them.  The seclusion they currently possess allows one person to use the area and others to avoid it in order to not invade another’s personal space.  An open space in the center of walkways will allow interaction on a daily basis.


On a larger scale, residence halls on campus are often further distance with nothing connecting them.  Locating residence halls closer together with spaces connecting them could also increase interaction.  This larger scale interaction will enable students to gather easier in bad weather.

Residence halls are in need of renovation.  With prices of college on an increasing trend the quality of housing provided to students should also increase.  Improving residence halls is proven to increase satisfaction and overall experience of campus.  These developments can also affect students in a positive way.  Grades, attitudes, stress levels, and other factors will be positively influenced with this proposal of change.

Social Media, i.e. Facebook, Reveals Heat in the Middle East

Filed under: Uncategorized — publicandprivatespace @ 6:51 pm

By: Joe Haas

Last month the Middle East sparked into a roaring flame of turmoil after Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire. The man grew sick and tired of the oppression from the Tanzanian government, and decided to engage in self-immolation to protest the deplorable conditions in his nation.  This act was caught on phones and cameras by bystanders who, in turn, uploaded their pictures and videos to Facebook.  Check out this photo.

Via Facebook and Twitter, word spread quickly around Tanzania that a man became a martyr; and before too long, protesters drove out the corrupt government.  Because of social media (primarily Facebook), the people of Tanzania and Egypt were able to rally support for their causes. These countries utilized Facebook’s capacity to disseminate information.  In my interview with Dr.Johnson, I learned of how the people of Egypt were able to export the truth by uploading information, pictures, and videos to Facebook.

With the truth spreading around the globe, many nations backed the people of Egypt.  Knowing this, the government had no choice but to give in to the demands of their people.  It could not intervene in the protests by force; otherwise, it would have paid heavy international consequences.  Now there is chaos in Libya.  That government saw how the governments of Tanzania and Egypt lost their power, and decided to forcibly make their people stop protesting.  The world knows what is happening to the people of Libya, the only question is: what will the world do?

Facebook is a powerful tool that can be used to spread knowledge and information.  The same website that millions of people use every day for entertainment and keeping tabs on one another is the tool that two major middle eastern countries.  The fact that such a simple seemingly ordinary website can be used as a tool for social and political change is amazing.

Too Sexy?

Filed under: Uncategorized — publicandprivatespace @ 6:27 pm

By: Christine Weaver          

Dance has become one of the most common forms of entertainment today. With the popularity of dance growing every day, television shows with dancing have become available for anyone with a TV to watch. The show So You Think You Can Dance is one of the most popular dance shows being aired. It is a dance competition show that showcases dancers from around the country. Each week contestants preform with a different partner and a different style of dance. Also, each week, a contestant gets eliminated from the competition based on public viewers’ votes.

However, with new forms of dance coming about, some of the dances performed on So You Think You Can Dance have become sexually explicit. Every dance performed on the show has a meaning or a story behind it, but many dances are starting to become more sexual than meaningful. According to the Speaking Sound Doctrine, many of the dances performed on this show should never be shown in public. They believe that dance should not be lustful or sexually explicit unless it is in private, between a lawfully married couple. Many dances include two dancers making out on stage for prolonged periods of time, while other dances include suggestive moving of the lower body, sexual embraces, and suggestive grabbing, all of which are not dance-like at all. It is sexual behavior being performed in public to millions of viewers.

In an effort to gain others input on the growing sexuality aired on So You Think You Can Dance, I created a questionnaire for twenty-five college students to fill out after watching four different performances from the show. I had the participants answer the same three questions for each of the four dances. The questions were “was the dance inappropriate? Explain”, “do you consider this dancing? Explain” and “what were you most focused on during the performance?”

After reading over the answers from the questionnaire, many of the participants found a suggestive movement in each dance. Some dances were deemed more inappropriate than others, but out of the four very different dances that were shown, each one had some sexual content. Some of the sexual content was minor such as an intimate embrace or a belly dancing hip roll, while other movements were extreme making out for prolonged periods of time or excessive groping. Comments stated in the questionnaire about the sexuality of the dances included, “That move was completely unnecessary,” “They practically had sex on stage,” and “It was too sexual for my taste.” With these comments coming from college students, it is almost safe to assume that parents of younger children would not appreciate their children watching this type of sexual public display.

The four dances shown were “Dancing”, which is a contemporary dance in which two dancers express their love and desire for one another, “Sweet Dreams”, which is a contemporary piece in which two dancers were having an argument in a work environment, “Mercy”, which is a contemporary Piece in which two dancers were having an argument about their relationship, and “My Chick Bad”, which is a hip-hop piece in which two dancers were battling each other to see who was “top-dog”.

As I have watched the show, I have observed that the dances are becoming more and more sexually explicit as each season progresses. I fear that the sexual content is becoming too extreme and more frequently used. With people watching these sexual performances, they will view these behaviors as fine for everyday living. The sexuality will continue to grow, and more and more people will view these actions as okay because it is shown on public television.

For many people of the general public, the dances shown on So You Think You Can Dance may be fine to watch, but because this show is on television for anyone with a TV to watch, some people, especially younger children, should not watch the dances because they are sexually explicit in most cases. The overall consensus found through the questionnaire was that the dances have sexual elements in them and many unnecessary movements that should not be performed.  Many people, including parents, think that the show is just a dance show, but they are not aware of the growing sexuality of the show. People need to become more aware of what is being shown on television, especially before they allow younger children to watch different shows. The sexual movements in the show are becoming more recurrent and are inappropriate to be shown on public television.

Reality TV is Changing our Standards for Reality

Filed under: Uncategorized — publicandprivatespace @ 5:53 pm

by Kyle Gooding

What is seen as acceptable for various forms of media has radically changed over the past few years.  The first rated “R” movie I ever saw was The Matrix.  At the time, and of course at my young age, I was completely enticed by all the action I was seeing, along with the allure of watching this forbidden genre.  Today The Matrix would most likely be classified as a “PG-13” movie.  Something has changed in the media and it seems like we are continuing to see a trend toward pushing accepted limits.  Yesterday’s “R” is tending toward today’s “PG” and this should make us wonder what has changed since the year 2000.

A clear example of this progression can be seen in the advent of Reality TV.  Ever since Survivor barged onto our TV screens in the year 2000, reality TV has continued to grow and progress into the creature it is now.  As each show progresses, there seems to be an equal regression away from the standards that once governed our entertainment media.  The success of these shows has opened the door for producers to make a large amount of cheap money.  The problem is that people get bored with ”real,” ordinary people very quickly.  In order for a television series to become or remain popular, the producers must institute a new twist to the same old type of programming so that the proceeding shows will not be known as “just another Survivor.”

It seems that producers have been addressing this problem not by adding something completely original to their show, but by introducing furthered controversy and immorality into their shows appeal.  They simply give the viewer more of the same old smut seen in their old shows, but this time in a more scandalous package.  With each show progressively pushing our accepted standards further and further, it has created a very weak boundary between what we can and cannot show on TV.  A big selling point for a program these days is that it is not allowed to show some of what goes on in recording on commercials, due to its vulgar nature.  And all this is just increasing the allure the genre holds over the common viewer.

It is disturbing to think of the implications of where this type of cheap enjoyment is taking us.  Most of us are old enough to remember or at least be aware of the family shows that used to popular, and that have since been banished to “TV Land”.  Since then there have, of course, still been shows that portray seemingly modern families, but they have a whole different set of values.  Some of these shows do occasionally leave us with a nice warm feeling of camaraderie with our fellow man, but most of these shows highlight and stick with problems between family members.

 Continuously showing disagreements and disrespect over our airways has had the effect of normalizing practices that should not seem normal to us.  This slow phasing in of entertainment that is barely within the boundaries of acceptable television is no doubt adding to the desensitization our media is experiencing.  Even a seemingly harmless show like Survivor promotes cutthroat competition and backstabbing, with one player even swearing on his “dead” grandmother’s grave that he was not lying, when he was in fact lying and his grandmother was very much alive.  And yet if Survivor was the worst of the reality TV available to us today, we would all probably be fine.  The real problem comes from the numerous spawn of Survivor.

  Old Versus New   

When we think of the popularity of reality TV we can truly realize how many people watch this genre.  A result of this increase in popularity is the explosion of new programs that set out to top their predecessors by pushing the limit of television even further.  Pointless shows like Jersey Shore exist to follow the lives of completely superficial people, while promoting and rewarding their immoral actions.  There are so many examples of reality TV shows that add nothing positive to our society, and these shows are originally just barely on the edge of acceptance.  As more programming is added on the coat-taills of these programs, it has the effect of making us completely forget how the original show tested our standards in the first place.  An example of this could be how The Bachelor was originally thought to be a disgrace since it turned the practice of dating someone into a competition for a money reward.  After this has come shows like The Bachelorette and Elimidate/Blind Date that all publicize and cheapen the process of courtship.

Reality TV is not appropriate for all ages and yet the pure amount of reality programming available to us means that it would be nearly impossible for children to not encounter this type of media at some time or another.  If the young people of this generation are growing up to a type of television that is being sold as reality than we should be worried about how much they take in as the real world.  Kids all over the world are growing up to shows that push a limit that these children may not have even known existed.  It is extremely easy to desensitize a generation that knows no better standards, and reality TV has been extremely popular for about eleven years now.  An example of this corruption on young people could actually be seen on a reality TV show like Jerry Springer where parents bring in their rowdy kids who think doing the things they see on TV is completely ok.

Calling a people to return to a prior time period is nearly impossible.  This is a scary notion when we think about the potential that tomorrow we could see a brand new reality television show that pushes accepted limits even further.  Once we have gone so far it is often very difficult to make a return to the appropriate path.  This being said, if we are to make any progress at all to a higher standard of programming it will start with each individual person.  If we wish to stop the progression of increasingly bold programming then we will first have to take the drastic step of not watching shows like Jersey Shore that add nothing positive to our world.  Maybe you’re reading this and you love these shows to death, but if nothing else I hope you can at least realize how much our media standards have changed in the past few years, and consider where our entertainment is headed in the future.

The London Eye: Expansion

Filed under: Uncategorized — publicandprivatespace @ 4:09 pm

Vishal Desai-

Not only has London excited controversy with The Ring of Steel Project, the technology now within the system has embarked on the relentless march of progress. When the plan was originally conceived in 1990, the system it included the following goals: “To Keep London residents safe, to be able to identity every vehicle license plate number in the city of London along with its front seat driver, and to provide intelligence to other security agencies.”
London’s CCTV system has progressed far beyond the original plan of setting up a series of security cameras to deter crime and terrorism and if unchecked, some think it may cross the line of privacy issues and what is socially acceptable. For example, some districts have units retrofitted with microphones and speakers. These generally appear in large squares within quieter neighborhoods and the cameras outfitted with audio capabilities are generally manned by government employees who can directly reprimand the misconduct.
As seen in a particular sequence of footage, a man behind the security camera sees a woman litter. He immediately responds, “To the female with the white shirt and blue jeans, you’ve dropped your cigarette on the ground. Can you pick it up please?” This is vastly different from any sort of situation that would appear in our culture. People at UC drop chewed gum and cigarette butts all over campus and there is no guard immediately telling them to them up.
Another way that CCTV’s system has begun to explore new technology is through the use of spy drones. The drone essentially is remote controlled like a helicopter and is fitted with a 360° camera and used to monitor criminal activity in a cost effective and efficient way. This goes completely beyond the idea of a security camera for the simple reason that is not stationary and is all seeing. Imagine a place where there is literally nowhere to hide because that is exactly what has been created here. Can we even begin to conceive the idea of a helicopter with a camera on it following us around town or searching through the streets? And finally, imagine a police force where there is no personal discretion required…where any police officer is the same as the entire force (as far as what he can see), and every second of every police encounter is stored to be analyzed whenever it needs to be. That is exactly what has been set up in London.
A report writes, “Parking officers are using CCTV video so that fewer of their fines end up being appealed.” CCTV literally allows the officers to strap head cams just under the brim of their hats and captures every minute of their encounters whether it be house entries, parking violations, or criminal investigations.
It seems that the traditional sense of the law is almost null and void. Why would anyone even bother contesting a ticket or punishment if the exact scenario has been recorded minute by minute? This has gone beyond the guidelines in some ways as to what the original purposes of CCTV were supposed to be. And to a foreigner who may have heard of “London’s CCTV” system, this is quite a shock.

Smart phone apps can lead to identity theft?

Filed under: Uncategorized — publicandprivatespace @ 2:49 pm



Identity fraud happens all around the country to people who have no idea that it’s even happening. Every single person who owns a smart phone and uses applications daily needs to start becoming more aware of the dangers apps bring. Fraud can seriously ruin a person’s life, and that is why people need to start becoming informed. Just through the download of one little application, the information needed for someone to have their identity stolen is in the open.

Knowledge that all smart phone owners need to know is that their personal information is sent to companies whenever they buy or download something like apps. An article from the Wall Street Journal explains what data is collected. It is information such as names, cell phone ID numbers, and other information tied with the phone that is being collected. A lot of people do not know what they do with this information. Mostly, they distribute it to advertising companies and receive nice pay checks. Next question should be about what can happen if this information gets into the wrong hands. This is where the risk of having a person’s identity stolen comes into place.

Fighting Identity Theft describes a form of fraud called cell phone cloning, and how it is claiming more and more victims. The information that is needed for cloning cell phones is the cell phone number and its identification number, two items that are leaked out every time a person downloads an application. Criminals take this data put it into a different cell phone, and to the cell phone companies, everything they do on the cloned phone is thought to be done by the original owner. Since the 90’s this crime has grown sufficiently, and cell phone companies are doing their best so that they can stop this from happening.

Scotts Leamon gives us an example of cell phone cloning in his article with a video, he published last year. He explains a story about a college student named Ashley Jackson, and how her cell phone was cloned. The cloner made phone calls all over the country, and some of the calls even lasted close to an hour. Her bill was extremely costly, and her cell phone company, Verizon, just thought that there was something wrong with her phone. Stories like this have been happening all over the country and show that cloning does happen to people.

Cloning is not very hard to accomplish. Nobody knows who works at these companies that receive the personal data, and nobody knows what they do with the information when they get it. They can literally find the items needed to steal an identity with just a click of the mouse. The reason I am very pleased with not owning a smart phone, with access to thousands and thousands of apps is that I know that no stranger has access to private cell phone information that can affect my life. I find it very hard to trust a person who I do not even know with this type of data, and that is why I have no interest in owning a smart phone.

Just because people want to play the new, most popular game, they put their identity out to the public. If a person is a victim of cell phone cloning, he or she will have all of the bills that criminal has collected with his or her cloned phone sent to the original owner. Everyone has seen cell phone bills, and they can get very expensive. I don’t want to take this risk with applications to pay hundreds or maybe even thousands of dollars extra when I do not need to. More and more people own smart phones, and more and more people could be the next victim. People need to stop living in their little fantasy worlds where nothing crime related ever happens. Fraud is out there and always will be. A way to put oneself away from this risk is to stay away from the apps. Not only do people pay the extra money for these phones and applications, they could also be paying an extra phone bill along with it.

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