In Soviet Russia, wait....
May 31, 2008 10:37 PM   Subscribe

Billboards that display a personal message for you...that was sort of cute, and voluntary. Billboards with speakers that focused sound on a spot...voices in your head are not so cute, and not voluntary. Billboards that photograph you, and him, and her, process the imagery, perform a statistical analysis, and return a targeted ad based on your demographic profile...maybe plan a different route home....
posted by Kronos_to_Earth (21 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I would have worded the post something like this:

Billboard #1: This had better be opt-in or, at least, opt-out.
Billboard #2: Call your Congressperson.
Billboard #3: Start a fucking riot on Madison Avenue.

(You worded it fine, I just wanted to reply in list form)
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 11:27 PM on May 31, 2008

After having RTFA'ed (R'ed TFA?) that last link, The 3rd category of billboard isn't so bad. Still, though, keep away from my face. I see way too many possibilities for Intelligence agency misuse of such cameras and databases.
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 11:31 PM on May 31, 2008

Billboard #3: Start a fucking riot on Madison Avenue.

The office of pre-crime would never allow that to happen.
posted by homunculus at 12:02 AM on June 1, 2008

Have you noticed how in the past few years society has become much more invasive in terms of privacy, almost every job requires a background check now (whereas before, only high level positions or jobs requiring government clearance had them). Cameras everywhere and all kinds of stuff going on in other countries (especially CCTV in the UK).

I think it's all just happening because the technology is getting cheaper. It isn't that society is getting more paranoid, it's that paranoia compels people to spend a certain amount of money, and the amount of invasiveness for their buck continues to go up.

There's also a tragedy of the commons thing going on as well. While many people may be opposed to privacy in general, they're all really curious about other people as well, so they take their little piece of information, because they can afford to do it. They don't want to hire criminals, they want cameras for whatever reason, they're only worried about what other people are doing and not worried about what they are doing.
posted by delmoi at 12:12 AM on June 1, 2008

Or combine the sound thing and the analysis thing to sell tinfoil hats more effectively to paranoid schizophrenics.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:30 AM on June 1, 2008

New technology, meet old technology. Play nice, ok?
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:01 AM on June 1, 2008

How would that little camera analyze the ice pick that I'm going to drive through it when I see it?
posted by crazylegs at 1:07 AM on June 1, 2008

Cameras everywhere and all kinds of stuff going on in other countries (especially CCTV in the UK).

Which don't even work: Top cop brands CCTV a 'fiasco'
posted by homunculus at 1:27 AM on June 1, 2008

And when you go on the intarwebs..
Olaf Prilo.
posted by strawberryviagra at 2:38 AM on June 1, 2008

Should drive up sales of Richard Nixon masks.
posted by flabdablet at 5:08 AM on June 1, 2008



posted by Spatch at 6:02 AM on June 1, 2008 [16 favorites]

the time has come to begin wearing the Nixon mask everywhere, hasn't it?
posted by disclaimer at 6:24 AM on June 1, 2008

Yet another reason to hate advertising. Thanks, I needed a new one for the list.
posted by eratus at 6:57 AM on June 1, 2008

They are equipping billboards with tiny cameras that gather details about passers-by — their gender, approximate age and how long they looked at the billboard.

The bright side about all this bullshit is that as they put more expensive technology it provides more opportunities to damage them by getting yourself a free tiny camera or engaging in some fun constructive vandalism.

In NYC once they were projecting ads on the side of a building. The projector was sitting on the sidewalk with a generator running it. This was not your regular projector for powerpoints - this was definitely a five-figure item, sitting on the sidewalk, secured with a chain I wouldn't trust to lock up my bike. Only having to be somewhere and the fear that just maybe they were paying someone to keep an eye on that thing kept me from going right to the hardware store for some bolt cutters.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 7:20 AM on June 1, 2008

the time has come to begin wearing the Nixon mask everywhere, hasn't it?

Not really. The Nixon mask is best deployed five seconds before entering the range of a billboard camera, right before you apply the wad of gum to the lens.
posted by flabdablet at 8:00 AM on June 1, 2008

So these billboard companies taking all the pictures are all terrorists, right?
posted by dilettante at 10:13 AM on June 1, 2008

the time has come to begin wearing the Nixon mask everywhere, hasn't it?

I was thinking how, um, progressive your average conservative Muslim neighborhood will look soon. Maybe some modern version of the burqa will become everyone's "out in public" dress, since it'll be impossible to retain privacy or anonymity otherwise?
posted by rokusan at 10:31 AM on June 1, 2008

I think we'll just stop giving a shit about privacy. This ultimately could work out to be a good thing though there will certainly be enormous tension in the adjustment. But, an example I've used before, if George W. Bush can tap your phone and read your e-mail that's bad. If George W. Bush can tap your phone and read your e-mail and you could do the same to him, the world would probably be a much better place right now.

I actually think, regardless, that certain powerful positions in our society should carry with them much more loss of privacy (with maybe very carefully done exceptions for national safety classified type stuff) to the point that if you want to be senator or president you have almost zero privacy and you have to accept that someone's going to be able to watch you shit on a webcam. Another: Policemen should have zero privacy while on duty, though obviously not quite in realtime.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:49 AM on June 1, 2008

posted by davebush at 11:08 AM on June 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

Speaking as someone who has never really been in a publicly traded companies target market, I could really get behind billboards that read my mind and then displayed a product or service I actually wanted or needed, and, if neither existed in their client database, would go transparent. When is that coming?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 3:40 PM on June 1, 2008

Doesn't concern me much. I don't notice much advertising. In fact, I notice so little, I miss the ones that would actually interest me.
posted by Goofyy at 4:33 AM on June 2, 2008

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