My kingdom for confidentiality!

October 9, 2018

seminar drawing two

In other words, the body is not just a vehicle for the expression of a political view, but it’s the common corporeal predicament of those who need to be supported by proper infrastructure or social services, proper economic conditions and prospects.

Judith Butler

The structure of video surveillance in Moscow is quite linear: the image is broadcasted to the district police station where it is stored for 30 days. Any videotape can be watched online by anyone from Russia or abroad. As the on-line human surveillance on 160 thousand cameras in the city of Moscow is close to be impossible, the videos are only valuable in the court aposteriori, once something terrible has already happened; although the fact of being videotaped can potentially prevent acts of violence: cameras are able of identifying those Russian citizens who are registered in the national database. For the record, the cost for 160 thousands videocameras 9,6 billion roubles (approximatively 125 million euros) per year.

Video surveillance is installed in all the public places, and people are even encouraged to put them in their yards and to connect them to the network. One may say we need to keep the right balance between confidentiality and safety. But can we admit it is hard to find one between two such unequal things? In the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid, the confidentiality can be mingled with the esteem needs, which is two position higher then a need of safety! Can we the clay that a man jumped over a Maslow’s stripe?

The paradox is, the important amount of people who vote against the video surveillance in Russia are women (47%). That may be connected with the often misuse of an female face or body images, its sexualisation and objectivisation. Many women probably experienced unpleasant situations of being photographed without asking for a permission – for the purposes we ignore.

Regarding this question of privacy and confidentiality, we should ask ourselves re we taking ourselves too seriously? I mean really, what is the difference of being watched by people instantly or having these moments kept safely for a month?


Ekaterina Ulitina

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