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Information Systems in Society - Essay Example

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Of course, it all started with innocuous looking cameras in big shops and malls where it was necessary to stop cases of theft and shoplifting. But today, it has assumed enormous proportions with government coming in with its highly sophisticated identification and surveillance tools especially after the 9/11 terrorists attack.
Today, surveillance raises several questions about privacy , power, about information policy, regulation, and resistance. Not only the security agencies, but the marketers as well are resorting to unscrupulous means to collect data to identify the buying patterns and preferences of the consumers to boost their sales. Currently, the privacy laws do not provide protection with respect to the information acquired through data mining activities. Moreover, there are no standards of data integrity or data collection across or within industries. The laws and regulations regarding ethical concerns are not only insufficient but also differ in different regions. For example, while the USA and European Union have established generally much stricter privacy laws, the legal responses to the rising problem of data security and privacy in the Asia-Pacific have been irregular and patchy (Endeshaw, 2001).
Apart from the usual and visible tools such as CCTVs , there are others such as the new smart cameras or the new generation computer programs which provides information. Companies are working on new intelligent cameras which are IP (Internet Protocol) addressable and are now able to perform functions such as motion detection and pattern recognition. These have the ability to track an object. With object tracking, software in the camera can be programmed to identify and follow the subject. When the subject leaves the view of the camera, another camera picks up where the previous one left off.
Similarly, Programmers have developed a next generation computer program called VISEC that turns the computer into a powerful global-wide video surveillance system in 5 minutes or less. It records all video activity, or just when motion is detected and is viewable from any location in the world via the Internet. In the motion detection mode the user can be alerted by email, cell phone or PDA when motion is detected and moreover it can be used as a stealth surveillance system allowing the program to operate secretly on the computer.
Yet another safety tracking system which revolves around a bio-sensor chips and collects information from the reflectance of light on the human body and enables to monitor key vital signs, including heart rate and oxygen saturation levels. The SATS (Security Alert Tracking System), is a wearable surveillance device that can be worn as a bracelet or a watch. The purpose of the SATS is to measure unnatural fluctuation in the heart which might be caused by stressful situations, such as when a person is engaged in unlawful activities.

ELECTRONIC VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION
Electronic Vehicle Identification or EVI is a system for identification of the moving vehicle aided by the ability to identify the owner as well through information stored during vehicle registration. This system can be used for tolling purposes, Spotting the stolen or wanted vehicles, warning speeders , advising truck drivers of load-zoned or restricted lanes or identifying the emissions ...Show more
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Summary

Surveillance is an endemic feature of modern life and has grown as a part of being modern (Ball, Wood: 2006). After the onset of internet revolution, the surveillance and security tools, from cctv to ID cards, have grown to unpredictable levels. We are under constant surveillance - from airports and malls to credit cards/debit cards, loyalty cards, mobile phones etc, everything we use can be further used for our surveillance…
Information Systems in Society
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