We have become used to seeing events being recorded in real time by participants shocked at what they see. The picture below you will recall was of Officer John Pike at a UC Campus demonstration for Occupy, pepper spraying a line of girls and young women just because he was a bully and thought he could. And doubtless in days gone by he could get away with it.
Surrounding him of course was a large body of people all of whom had smart phones which take video footage and stills. It would be possible to build a 360 degree reproduction of the event for court from these sources alone. Officer John Pike found to his cost that he was well in the frame. But if it had been the sixties would you have been so likely to believe the say-so of a lot of smelly students? Perhaps not. Smart phones tip the balance in favour of the citizen’s word against the corruption of the State.
Every demonstrator is a director, every group a film crew.
Now it might change back again. The new improved whiter-than-blue all singing and all-dancing iPhoneX has been launched. And it has Face Recognition! So, you now only have to point the camera at yourself and the phone opens. Magic eh?
Only what happens is you are arrested by the likes of Officer Pike and they decide to delete the incriminating footage from your phone (or collect any other information they might just fancy)? There you are standing in handcuffs and your phone will just open up.
It won’t really get it’s chance to be tested out until “outside trouble makers” get themselves arrested and try to claim that evidence was removed from their iPhones by the authorities simply scanning their faces.
But it’s not a step forward.
Copyright David Macadam 2017