The Average American Is RECORDED 238 Times a Week

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by Robert Wheeler

Cameras are everywhere.

Do you have a cell phone? Unless it’s an old antiquated flip phone, there’s a camera. Public parks, roadways, the parking garage at your favorite shopping center, police officers wearing body cameras, school…they are everywhere.

There was a time when Americans viewed the presence of security cameras in a private business as a creepy Orwellian intrusion into their private lives. They didn’t want to be recorded and watched as they did their shopping or when they went into the bank to cash their paychecks. Those days came and went and Americans accepted and adapted those cameras.

Then along came public surveillance cameras and traffic light cameras. And, once again people felt their lives were being infringed upon. Not only were private businesses still conducting the surveillance, but the government was now watching too. This left many people feeling as though their privacy rights had been taken away from them.

All that changed when 9/11 happened. Suddenly Americans couldn’t be stopped from stuffing their concerns over privacy as far down the toilet bowl as they could.

Two decades later the “Privacy Train” has left the station.

Everywhere we go, there are cameras. Whether it be a camera in a retail store, at a stoplight, inside a hospital, inside an Uber car, inside a restaurant, possibly even inside your own home. Oh, and let’s not forget the doorbell cameras. like the ones surveilling the entire neighborhood without their consent. If you have a smartphone, it’s tracking everywhere you go and that data is being used to compile incredibly detailed information about you.

Cameras are everywhere…including in our own hands. While the images being posted on social media may just be static images, they are still pictures of someone who may not even know that image was posted.

According to Social Media Statistics 2020: Top Networks by the Number Facebook alone has over 300 million photos uploaded DAILY.

People are not only being recorded, they are recording themselves and one another.

And this may sound like some crazy high-tech thing that doesn’t really affect us personally, but consider the ramifications on OPSEC if your every move is tracked and your every purchase is documented.

You won’t believe how often the typical American is recorded every day.

An article published by the Daily Mail reports that the typical American is recorded by security cameras 238 times a week. The information was obtained from Safety.com whose security team conducted a study on surveillance technology. That figure includes:

  • Video taken at work: average employee spotted on cameras 40 times per week
  • Video taken on the road: Americans are filmed 160 times while driving
  • Video taken in stores
  • Video taken in homes and neighborhoods: 14 times per week

For Americans who travel a lot or who work in “highly patrolled areas,” the number of times they are recorded on film could reach over 1000 times per week. According to the research, it can be difficult to know how many traffic cameras are passively filming or permanently storing footage. Another result of the study was that people underestimate how often they are recorded.

A survey from IPVM  in 2016 found that most people assumed they were being recorded less than five times a day. The example of a typical day was taken from that report:

This example is a running total, including the number of cameras likely present at each stop:

  • 8:00AM: 4 Cameras – Get a cup of coffee –  4 cameras in Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts
  • 8:30AM: 24 Cameras – School or office – cameras in parking lot and interior, you will be picked up at various angles by 20 cameras at least.
  • 12:15PM: 30 Cameras – Stop at ATM before lunch for cash.  Bank will have exterior cameras, ATM will have close-up camera
  • 12:30PM: 38 Cameras – Go get lunch – 4 cameras at lunch spot, plus 4 more easily ay surrounding businesses
  • 5:00PM: 45 Cameras – Leave work, go to gym to work out. Camera at check-in desk, plus in 6-8 in workout area
  • 5:45PM: 46 Cameras – Stop to pick up dry cleaning.  Camera at front register
  • 6:00PM: 52 Cameras – Stop for gas.  Cameras at pumps and in store
  • 6:15PM: 54 Cameras – Quick car wash.  Cameras at entry and in-bay
  • 7:00PM: 58 Cameras – Pick up kids from practice/game.  Cameras in school parking lot or on building exterior

Lawmakers and civil rights advocates are concerned about the growing state of surveillance.

But, of course, civil rights advocates do not have a real voice in American society. And, lawmakers are the ones who have facilitated the surveillance state, to begin with. So, unfortunately, if you are someone who was hoping to get back some of your rights, don’t hold your breath.

Dan Avery, author of the article on the Daily Mail writes reports that by next year, there will be approximately one billion security cameras operating around the globe. And 10 to 18 percent of them will be in the United States. In 2019, with 70 million cameras in the US, there was at least one security camera for every 4.6 Americans, putting the US as the second-highest ratio. China, being the first, has 4.1 cameras per person. (China, of course, is the country most infamous for social credit scores but many believe that the US is not far behind.)

Some people advocate these surveillance cameras as a vital tool for safety and security, and an important law enforcement device. However, in an article on All Together concerns about inequality, false results, and unethical use of this technology:

“There’s strong evidence that many of the systems in deployment are reflecting and amplifying existing forms of inequality,” said Sarah Myers West, a postdoctoral researcher at AI Now Institute, an interdisciplinary research center at New York University dedicated to understanding the social implications of artificial intelligence. “For this reason, it’s critical that we have a public conversation about the social impact of AI systems, and AI Now’s work aims to engage in research to inform that conversation.”

Joy Buolamwini, an MIT graduate, AI researcher, and computer scientist, provided firsthand research to inform the conversation. Buolamwini, a Ghanaian American, wrote a thesis, “Gender Shades,” in 2017, after she was misidentified while working with facial analysis software. The software didn’t detect her face until she put on a white mask, she said, “because the people who coded the algorithm hadn’t taught it to identify a broad range of skin tones and facial structures.” The software returned worse results for women and darker-skinned persons.

“We often assume machines are neutral, but they aren’t,” she said in a Time magazine essay about her discoveries. Her thesis methodology uncovered large racial and gender bias in AI services from such companies as Microsoft, IBM, and Amazon. In response, Buolamwini founded the Algorithmic Justice League to “create a world with more ethical and inclusive technology.”

Owners of smart home security cameras may be in jeopardy.

Those smart home security cameras may not make you as safe as you thought they would.

“Some popular home security cameras could allow would-be burglars to work out when you’ve left the building, according to a study published Monday.” CNN Business

An International study carried out by Queen Mary University of London and the Chinese Academy of Science discovered they could tell if someone was home, and even what they were doing in the home, just by looking at data uploaded by their home security camera, without monitoring the video footage itself. And of course as we just published, the microphones embedded in your smart devices can record you and are being used more and more often by police.

An article written by Brandon Turbeville in 2011,“New Report: ‘Recording Everything’ Details How Governments Can Shape The Dynamics Of Dissent,” details how this data is being stored, at a surprisingly low cost to do so.

According to Turbeville, given the prices (in 2011) and the projected decrease in cost in the future, the United States would be able to store the location data of everyone in the country for a whole year for approximately $18,000, the cost of a low-wage job.

The average American is now videotaped and recorded more times in a day than a Hollywood star fifty years ago.

Clearly, we are no longer entering a “growing” surveillance state, we are already in one.

How often do you think you’re being recorded?

Have you ever considered how often you’re recorded? Where are cameras most likely recording you? Home? Work? School? Businesses you frequent? Just in the neighborhood? Are you bothered by this?

Let’s talk about it in the comments.

About Robert

Robert Wheeler has been quietly researching world events for two decades. After witnessing the global network of NGOs and several ‘Revolutions’ they engineered in a number of different countries, Wheeler began analyzing current events through these lenses.

The Average American Is RECORDED 238 Times a Week
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23 Responses

  1. Watch away cause I’m out shuttin the gate in my Woodland Camo American Flag Ariats and shorts with no shirt strutting it working my mojo! Yeah baby!

    Seriously though you can work it to your advantage. I work in a career that has made me a lot of enemies of gangs, cartels and general nut jobs and when I travel I leave a digital footpath by using my credit card and not paying cash, looking into the entry cameras without sunglasses and the cap kicked up high and even touching obscure items on cameras to leave my prints.

    It’s like the difference in my tornado shelter and a bunker. One I want found and one you don’t.

    It’s a reality and your not going to avoid it but you can manage it to a degree. A lot of the choices are yours and what you do to give it away.

    1. Matt in Oklahoma, I understand that it can be used to work for you in limited situations. But imagine you are a women fleeing from domestic violence or a mum with a few children who was in the wrong place at the wrong time and is being persued by a highly organised, financed criminal gang . It’s extremely hard to disappear safely . Licence photo and address, mobile phone , location turned off, your searchs can give away your location, FB no way you have that, your children playgroup uses it , the school uses it, community groups , you take the kids to the park, cameras, parents taking photos of their kids, your in the background and have to ask them to delete the photos. (They just tagged the park and time stamped when you were their) , get takeaway your on camera, you doing online food shopping , all of this leads to you be tracked. You basically, need to live under a rock to stay safe. These situations are faced by numerous families all over the world. The kids suffer the most as excluded from activities for their families safety. Cameras everywhere. Do we really need so many. Sorry for my rant just feel really passionate about this issue.

  2. The so called ” Patriot Act” remains the biggest infringement to our rights ever conceived, and we fell for it, lock, stock and barrel. It made us no safer, a fact that terrorists still manage to attack us repeatedly shows (even if not on the same scale as 9/11). The factor that allowed such a tragedy to occur, a lack of cooperation between agencies, was never adequately addressed, and still isn’t (though they give lip service to the concept of cooperation).
    America, the land of the corporately enslaved, and home of the depraved running the asylum.

    1. You are correct. As a LEO and at that time military as well I warned against it. Most agencies are still black holes: everything in nothing out.
      The intell was always there for 9/11 but that feel good measure was just too easy to get because of fear in The People.
      Thing is the majority of surveillance has nothing to do with it/them.
      Private entities are the major shareholders with The People leading the way with social media and smart everything’s.

    2. We didn’t have anything to do with the Patriot Act. No one ever asked us, like always. They do as they like, us be damned.

      1. I disagree:
        WE voted them in, kept them in and yes there was very large vocal support for it originally.
        Just like Facebook and other social media platforms. You literally can not stop hardly anyone from using it. even when they openly state they are using it to spy on you.

        1. Must disagree; ‘we’ didnt vote them in, they were placed. and I know of NO ONE who supported that tripe initially, nor ever. wake up and smell the pizza….
          Face it – we have lived in occupied territory since 1865. The US has been in (((foreign control))) since then, and actually a bit before.
          And yes, people are stupid – why else would we be in the mess wee are in? fakebook etc is just a sympton, not the disease.

  3. There was a time when one had to have permission to take a person’s picture. I don’t know
    where that went to. Is it still an old law hidden away!

    1. You didn’t need permission to take the picture by most laws you needed permission to use it and even then it’s a civil issue. That’s why most stuff is “open source” because it’s just too easy to use stuff folks post. Once it’s out there it’s out there.

    2. In the U.S., anything that is visible from the street is fair game, and that includes people walking down the sidewalk. The only caveat is that one cannot make commercial use of such images without permission. This is the law I was taught as it pertains to photojournalists or anyone who wants to take photos in public.

      No, this is not a new law, rather it’s been around a half century.

  4. All of this is obvious to anyone who’s been paying attention to the rise of the surveillance state. The practical question is, what can an individual do about it? IMO, going full Luddite is the only real option, and even then one is at risk.

  5. Not only is skin color an issue in facial recognition, but a current factor in surveillance is masks and sunglasses, which render facial recognition almost null and void. Because of this, we can be sure that new methods of facial recognition will evolve. In the meantime, there is the possibility of false identification.

  6. I know you mean well, but you are so behind current tech it makes me cry.

    Come on guys – please get with the times. Cameras and microphones are sooooooooo last season.

    Wifi field interferance and smart device monitoring is the new fashion for this year.

    In fact, with the exception of 4K and 8K cameras and liquid lens technology, the technology you are talking about in this article is old hat – like talking carbarettors and gas when electric and hydrogen is now in use.

    For the last 10 years if you are in Intel or a computer geek, wifi field manipulation and smart device voltage monitoring is how real spying and surelance is done (but shhhh, you are not supposed to know that).

    Even a humble smart meter can provide a crude map of the interior of your home and any movement inside (including in hidden rooms).

    Anyone remember the old XBox Kinect and other popular laser devices in some kids toys?

    If you do chances are you remember the scandel when it was uncovered that they could be used to scan rooms, 3D map a house, recognise an individual, and even see through clothing.

    There was a massive cover up and low res pics released to hide the fact that Intel has been doing this for years.

    That was almost a decade ago! Technology has moved on and so has decoding software, and besides – they were kids toys – imagine what grown ups had to play with back then.

    Wifi fields can allow a geek or intel type to map a room to mm accuracy, and smart devices can register and monitor every breath you take and every heart beat you have, and of course everything you eat, drink, and flush.

    I promise you guys, when the 5G system (aka the Beast system) is rolled out, you will never escape your invisible chains this side of an EMP.

    Cameras and Mics (other than 8k and liquid lens self powering autonomous devices) are old tech. Dont forget what I have said – you have now been formally warned by someone who knows about these things (and cares – which is rare these days).

  7. Well right now we’re getting recorded a lot less since so many things are still closed in most places! Of the list in the article, only half of these currently apply to those of us working, learning, and dining out of our homes.

    I can’t remember the last time I went out to eat. All the coffee we consume is homebrewed. My kids haven’t been to a school all year. Nobody has attended any sporting events. WFH means my regular trips to the dry cleaners are all cancelled. We get picked up by security cameras when we go to the grocery store and to get gas. That’s pretty much it.

    That said, the proliferation of smart devices are regularly recording us all! That’s the primary surveillance vector now, and one reason we won’t get ‘always on’ speakers. I wish someone made a smartphone with a switch on the side that physically disconnected the device’s GPS, microphone, and cameras. When I need those services, I can switch them on, but I don’t trust for a second that a software toggle actually turns these functions off.

  8. I’ve often though recently that a massive, overwhelming CME might be the only thing to save us from ourselves.
    Massive loss of life? Yes. But we, as a society, world wide are desperately in need of a hard reset.

    1. I’ve long thought the same thing. then I realize that I and mine probably would not survive.
      Oh well. Them’s the breaks.

  9. Some random thoughts

    I understand that Warren Buffet refuses to use a smart phone. Gosh, I wonder why…?

    Some cities are panicking over their red light cameras being spray-painted over. That could reduce their revenue from causing rear-ender collisions by over-shortening the yellow light time to make it almost impossible for drivers to win. Either they have to gun their engine to beat that too-short yellow light that gets them a nasty ticket OR jam on their brakes and risk getting rear-ended.

    This article is about how face masks reduce the accuracy of facial recognition systems:

    https://pandemic.news/2020-10-05-face-masks-make-facial-recognition-software-less-accurate.html

    Somewhere there is probably some serious research on which mask systems are best at defeating obsessive government snoops.

    The war on cash is one of the ultimate privacy killers via digital recognition and ironclad control that doesn’t require any photo ID process. This website is a useful collection of articles that explain that war:

    https://www.cashless-economy.com/

    If you still believe the government’s narrative that Arabs living in caves had the wherewithal and the smarts to take down World Trade Center #7 on 9/11 some 7 hours after the primary attacks without ever having been hit, but which collapsed perfectly on its own footprint (which is characteristic of two months of hard skilled work to set up a controlled building demolition), does your source of income depend on you not understanding the above contradiction?

    –Lewis

  10. Shades of Person of Interest…. some of the activities of “the machine” were very interesting and predictive of some of the AI uses now…. scary.

  11. So, I have a Tracfone, flip phone. Have for over 15 yrs. I replaced my old one about 18 months ago. So in August I got a text ~ it didn’t say where it was from, they did not say when this would happen OR WHY! The text simply said: YOUR PHONE WILL STOP WORKING! I called Tracfone and first of all said is this text from Tracfone or is it a scam? And then asked what is this all about? They said they are updating their systems and this phone would stop working Jan21. They did not say exactly why but I kept asking questions. I had purposely bought this 3G phone 18 months ago, as I know that the phone companies HAVE DECIDED $$$$$$ 5G is what WE WILL DO ~ NO MATTER WHAT HEALTH ISSUES MIGHT RESULT $$$$$$! So my attempt at remaining a dinosaur has failed. I must have a 4G phone, and I assume at some point in a few years YOU WILL HAVE TO HAVE A 5G PHONE! It is futile to resist, I think I knew that, but wanted to be one who was brought into all of this quietly resisting! Although, when 5G comes I could choose to not have a cell, not practical probably, but an option! WHOEVER, THEY IS, THEY HAVE DECIDED I WILL COMPLY! The old flip phone was easy to use and easy to figure out, I suspect I will hate this new phone! It is a good way to have quick contact with family and friends who do not live in the same state I do! Whatever!

  12. Great article, Robert! I would love to turn it into a video, let me know if this is something you’d be interested in!

  13. Yet there’s 100+ shootings each week in Chicago and zero arrests? The MSM claims only 50 per week because half the bullets miss their targets!

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