The speed at which surveillance technology is increasing in efficiency is amazing
Here is a recent development. There is new facial-recognition software that lets the government put a photo or image in front of a camera. The camera’s software then scans faces at the astounding rate of 36 million per second.
What does it scan? Digital records stored by public cameras. These cameras are cheap and getting cheaper. They are placed in public locations. They feed images into huge data-storage disks.
The new system then scans faces to see where you have been and when. This can be combined with GPS data retrieved from your cell phone.
The ability of the government to track us is amazing. But the limit is now human monitoring and action. How many people in government will have the clearance to access this information? Not many. Information is seen by bureaucrats as power. They do not want to share it.
While the government can gather a lot of information on anyone, it has great trouble institutionally to put this information to effective use. It costs resources to go from a suspicion to a search to collation of data. Then the agency must take action, which can be challenged in courts.
Technology is racing ahead of bureaucratic abilities. The fact that a government agency can make life miserable for someone does not mean that it can make life miserable for millions of people in a direct fashion. It kes resources to use these tools. That is good news.