So the key to restor­ing the bal­ance of pow­er between gov­ern­ments and the gov­erned is not uncom­pre­hend­ing fear of sur­veil­lance, but under­stand­ing the mobil­i­ty-sur­veil­lance trade-off equa­tion, and fig­ur­ing out how much increased mobil­i­ty we can demand in return for con­sent­ing to increased sur­veil­lance. Once we fig­ure out how to increase our mobil­i­ty to match the lim­its of the new tech­nolo­gies of con­sent, the trade implied by the new social con­tract will be fair once again.

Con­sent of the Sur­veiled

Nobody can be quite as con­trar­i­an and make sense at the same time as Venkatesh can.

I’m not sure increased mobil­i­ty is a fair trade-off for increased sur­veil­lance if it is not cou­pled with increased care. Oth­er­wise, I don’t see how it will serve any­body except those who are already well-off.

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Kars Alfrink

Kars is a designer, researcher and educator focused on emerging technologies, social progress and the built environment.