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Video is a brilliant way of capturing data and wasting your life

Before too long every move and conversation will be captured and stored but the prospect of that is not exciting Nick Booth

What’s our most precious resource of all? No, it’s not fossil fuels or amazon jungles or coral reefs. It’s our time. Mine is ebbing away as I type this, and there’s not a thing I can do about it as I constantly edge closer to my death. If that wasn’t depressing enough, my confidence in the existence of a God and the promised afterlife is plummeting faster than Bell Pottinger’s stock.

I reckon there’s a less than 1 per cent chance I’ll get a second stab at existence, even as a lower life form, such as a worm or a TV panel show ‘comedian’.

It’s this dreadful waste of precious life that makes me loathe many of the big players in the IT industry. It seems like every day brings a new conspiracy to invade your privacy, bombard you with adverts for despicable brands or create pointless tasks. When they are not lowering the quality of life, they are stealing your precious moments of existence. Soon Facebook, AWS, Google and Apple will be too powerful to resist.

There are more laws to enforce recycling regimes, for the waste created by big corporations, than to protect our own precious time and privacy. So in effect, our lawmakers put a higher premiuim on Tetrapaks and tin cans than they put on our time.

Seemingly, the latest embodiment of this craziness comes from the UK’s waste management agency BusinessWaste.co.uk, which calls for all bin men to wear body cameras.

The logic is this campaign is that, just like the police, bin men need to be protected from both the angry members of the public and their allegations of misconduct. It’s not just bin men that need protecting, says BusinessWaste spokesman Mark Hall. According to its focus groups, many cleaners now need to wear body cameras, as 98 per cent of their employers want to be able to track thier every movement. Lone workers are another group that needs constant surveillance. (I just knew I’d get roped into this).

While I can see the need to record the eventful shifts of a police officer, surely the need to provide ‘unquestionable proof of any unethical behaviour’, as well as helping to exonerate waste officers accused of crimes, are a bit over the top.

Not so, says Hall. Among the problems that could be solved with this camera footage are over-filled bins, waste in the wrong bins, bins that haven’t been put out, and general conduct from bin men on their rounds. Four out of five complaints by residents turn out to be their fault, but this doesn’t stop the bin men suffering reputational damage. Why not tackle the creaters of the waste, the big corporations?

Still, from a business perspective, you have to admire the creativity of this organisation. Cameras and compliance will go hand in hand. However, the amount of storage data this will generate is astronomical. Those high resolution cameras fill up a hard disk in no time.

In response, Johnny and Jane Civilian will soon have to record their every conversation with each poor public servant too.

This is a brilliant ruse for selling storage. I recommend that cloud companies looking for storage resellers, such as Arcserve, Spectra Logic and Acronis, contact Mark Hall at BusinessWaste.co.uk as soon as possible.

In a report released today 451 Research claims that the Interrnet of Things is driving more spending on IT infrastructure, from the Edge to the Cloud. But the Internet of Public Servants could provide a much faster growth rate, since their cameras are recording every second of the day, in the highest resolutions. If you don’t believe, have a look at what I did this morning. I recorded the whole thing!

This was last published in September 2017

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