Surveillance cameras are everywhere — even on your smartphone


Right now, video is the main input that computers have for understanding the physical world. Video takes in the trees and cars and people and turns them into data that software can analyze.

When there are cameras everywhere, there will be analytics everywhere. Vast new realms of life will be tracked and measured and optimized in the way that the web is now.

I don’t worry about everyone livestreaming their neighbors’ backyards—who wants to watch that?—but I do worry about applying statistical analysis to anything anyone points a camera at. Let me explain why.

Look at CamioCam, an app that debuted earlier this year that takes any smartphone or tablet and turns it into an always-on camera that uploads clips of anything interesting that happens in its field of view. These clips are then analyzed and can be searched. And it does all this for free.

“In the grandiose vision, we…

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