Such invasions of individual privacy and freedom can always be argued to be for the benefit of overall society, but the bottom line is that such systems assume that everyone might be a criminal.
It seems to me that our personal privacy is being steadily eaten away. Even on Singapores wonderfully efficient MRT public train system, my nerves always twitch when I hear them advise people, by public announcement, to report any suspicious person in the hope of catching terrorists.
Im sure George Orwell, who wrote the landmark novel 1984 would be laughing in his grave at how the world has turned a quarter of a century after his dark predictions of a society tightly manipulated by its government.
Ross O. Storey, currently the Managing Editor of Fairfax Business Media Asia, is responsible for the editorial content and production of MIS Asia, CIO Asia, Computerworld Singapore and Computerworld Malaysia magazines.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.