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Sousveillance: Implications for privacy, security, trust, and the law
IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine (2015)
  • Katina Michael, University of Wollongong

Point of view has its foundations in film. It usually depicts a scene through the eyes of a character. Body-worn video-recording technologies now mean that a wearer can shoot film from a first-person perspective of another subject or object in his or her immediate field of view (FOV). The term sousveillance has been defined by Steve Mann to denote a recording done from a portable device such as a head-mounted display (HMD) unit in which the wearer is a participant in the activity. Some people call it inverse surveillance because it is the opposite of a camera that is wall-mounted and fixed.

During the initial rollout of Google Glass, explorers realized

that recording other people with an optical HMD unit was

not perceived as an acceptable practice despite the fact that the recording was taking place in a public space. Google’s blunder was to consider that the device, worn by 8,000 individuals, would go unnoticed, like shopping mall closed-circuit television (CCTV). Instead, what transpired was a mixed reaction by the public—some nonusers were curious and even thrilled at the possibilities claimed by the wearers of Google Glass, while some wearers were refused entry to premises, fined, verbally abused, or even physically assaulted by others in the FOV.

  • sousveillance,
  • trust,
  • privacy,
  • security,
  • law,
  • field of view,
  • first person view,
  • data,
  • camera,
  • social media
Publication Date
April 1, 2015
Citation Information
Katina Michael. "Sousveillance: Implications for privacy, security, trust, and the law" IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine Vol. 4 Iss. 2 (2015)
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