Sunday, November 11, 2007

Big Brother is Watching You!

Taking another break from the nostalgia series to tell you about a funny that just happened. I am looking for pricing on new windows, to get an idea what it would cost to replace my old single pane jobs. I Googled "window prices" and came up with a least a trillion hits. So I clicked on the Home Depot link and suddenly this man in a Home Depot shirt pops up on my screen and starts talking to me about windows. It was REALLY startling, because he was looking right at me and chatting in a chummy way, and there I was sitting in my chair in front of him . . . buck naked and trying hastily to cover myself. Yes, I know he couldn't really see me, but it was still a shock when he suddenly appeared and started talking! Here's the link if you'd like to see what I mean:

I think I've become paranoid because of all the companies that use hidden surveillance devices. I didn't realize how widespread it was until I got hooked on YouTube and saw all those video clips from surveillance cameras. Most of them were funny or alarming, of the bungled bank robbery or high-speed car chase variety.

But it has become evident that Big Brother is out there, and you'd best not pick your nose or scratch your butt when you think no one can see, because chances are, there's a surveillance camera recording it. They're everywhere: restrooms, shopping malls, ATM machines, fitting rooms, gyms, taxis, nursing homes, you name it. If you don't believe me, go to YouTube and check out all the video clips from surveillance cameras.

Certainly they have a place in this day and age of terrorism, theft, and other nefarious deeds. For instance, surveillance cameras were instrumental in identifying Timothy McVeigh in the Oklahoma City bombing. Surveillance videos can help the public identify criminals when they are broadcast on news stations.

Where things get dicey is when the person monitoring a surveillance camera abuses the position. A JC Penney store manager sued her employer when she discovered that male employees monitoring a camera zoomed in on her breasts, and then shared the pictures with their friends. I read a recent article by a man who discovered naked pictures of himself on the Internet. He'd been showering at the YMCA, and the person monitoring the surveillance camera posted the pictures on the Internet.

Have you ever found yourself monitored when you didn't expect it? What do you think about grocery stores that show a TV monitor where you can watch yourself entering the store? How do you feel about Big Brother?

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