Monthly Archives: June 2011
Technology has infiltrated our lives and around video surveillance technology there is much debate over finding the balance between an individual’s right to privacy and that same individuals need to keep an eye on people and things they care about.
As the world has changed and peoples live take them far away from home and their families there is growing need for IP camera technology and for IP camera online network management systems.
As with nannycams there is much discussion about whether or not it is ethical to install IP cameras to look after aging parents or keep an eye on their caretakers in order to prevent elder abuse.
We here at Jabbakam think about these issues too.
Though technology can and has surely been used to abuse and cause harm it has also done a great deal of good and has many positive applications.
As with any tool, technology can be used for good or evil and it is up to a society or a community to negotiate the line between these two extremes. It is only in communities that we can start to address the question of maximizing the benefits of technologies like Jabbakam and minimizing the potential abuses.
Surely the benefit of being able to see from a world away if the people who you’ve paid to care for your aging parents are in fact doing that outweighs the potential abuses of the technology. Or does it? There is ample room for debate. How can we keep this technology from being perverted or corrupted?
Here at Jabbakam we are often asked about whether Jabbakam can be used as a nannycam, particularly because Jabbakam live view and footage alerts can be viewed remotely using smartphones and other devices. Nannycams continue to be one of the most popular ways that people use IP cameras and video surveillance technology.
There is not an easy answer to this question and it is not only about whether using IP camera technology and IP camera management systems to watch over the people that are watching over your children is possible – because it is… but there are also bigger legal and ethical issues to consider.
Are Nannycams Legal? Are Nannycams ethical?
Laws concerning IP camera recording vary from place to place, country to country, and region to region. In the United States for example, according to experts at about.com and ugolog.com it is legal to use a hidden camera in all 50 states – however, in several states in the US, it is illegal to surreptitiously record someone’s voice. Many IP cameras and IP camera management systems like Jabbakam do not have audio capabilities but can be used when remote viewing and monitoring of video is what is essential.
In the UK, according to Kidshield.eu it is legal to use recording devices in your own home provided that the cameras not be used “in areas where people would expect to have reasonable privacy for example in bathrooms.”
“In order to remain within the limitations of UK law, Kidshield would recommend that you inform your nanny that you may occasionally use a “nanny cam” to check in on your children – just don’t tell them where it is. In other EU countries we suggest that you consult legal advice before installing a nannycam.”
Whether the use of nannycams is ethical is open for debate. Ethicists have been weighing in on this issue since video surveillance technology was made affordable to the masses and since the first case of a nanny abusing her charges was caught on hidden surveillance camera.
The debate rages on amongst ethicists with moderates suggesting that the only ethical way to employ a nannycam is to make sure the nanny knows you are recording her, much in the same way that employers notify employees that they may in fact be reading emails sent from office computers
Bruce Weinstein, an ethics analyst for CNN counters saying
“Just think about it: What kind of relationship would you have with someone that would prompt you to secretly record them with your children? If you really take the well-being of the child seriously to begin with, you would get someone who is so trustworthy you wouldn’t need to watch them in the first place.”
What do you think? Let us know.
The Hyperlocal Movement Takes off in the UK and Around the World
One of the new buzzwords in social media and journalism in the UK is “Hyperlocal Neighbourhoods.” In California, the site OhSoWe calls its members “Homesteaders.” Homesteaders, as you may recall, were those who settled the “Wild West” of the US, daring to build communities, townships and societies from the wreckage left in the wake of the anarchy and lawlessness that ruled the day. The “Homesteaders” from that bygone era were much like today’s “Homesteaders” in that they were attempting to create meaning and social cohesion from a violent and untamed terrain. Today’s homesteaders live online and inside a universe which, thus far, appears to have no boundries.
The hyperlocal networks and homestead communities which have sprouted up around (or perhaps have defined this movement) include Vermont’s Front Porch or London’s Harringay Online. New sites and communities are constantly popping up – all looking to fill the gap that has been left in the wake “Internet Revolution.”
With this revolution, our ideas of what community means have been and continue to be tested and our individual and collective worldviews and identities seem, at times, to have been irrevocably expanded or lost in a vast, unquantifiable space.
Hyperlocal Network initiatives like Networked Neighborhoods or Harringay Online are helping to break that space down into more manageable bits. These networks are cropping up all over the UK. In fact, the UK seems to be leading the effort to encourage citizens to engage in shaping a new collaborative and communicative democracy.
Jabbakam is also working towards making its contribution to these ideals. Have you read the Jabbakam White Paper? It has much to say about the future of democracy, the future of CCTV and the future of our real world communities and relationships.