We the People, our Cells and the FBI

boston_bomb_suspectsThe steps in the investigation in the Boston attack have been simple and effective:

1. Ask everybody -who was at the marathon- to turn in cells, videos o photo cameras.
2. Come up with images of possible suspects.
3. Share them. Ask people to help identify these faces. We know the end of the story.

I have never seen so much interaction between law enforcement agencies and the public. Or maybe it was never as possible as it is today. Consumer´s electronic devices found two faces in the crowd. And although the images that were sent to the media came from a TV camera and a store camera, there is no doubt that cell phones will soon include special features to improve the game with pixels and make it so much easier to track and share. Soon meaning in 24 hours.

Do we share because we care?

At the same time, more limits and regulations to the new technologies are needed and this is a very big project. Every day we find examples on how the use and misuse of new devices are affecting people´s lives.

From constant behavior tracking to cases where so many teenage girls whose pictures and videos are shared among students just for a laugh, causing so much damage. In Europe there is a very strict protection to privacy that does not exist in the States.

The other day at work they offered to turn my cell phone into my new VPN token (the one that allows you to connect to your work’s network when you work outside the office). A little earlier they had warned us that if we have access to our work email through our cell phone, they could decide to erase all our phone if a threat was detected. Seriously.

Clarisse Céspedes

Journalist and Content Strategist. SEO, sponsorships and video. Follow me on Facebook and @ClarisseCespede.

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