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People who appear to be doing something wrong usually do not want to be recorded in a public space. There are other people who also don’t like to be recorded citing privacy reasons but, if asked, they don’t know how to explain how their privacy would be breached if they were to be recorded. I heard only two examples of privacy breach that could be caused by a footage which I think it was a bit exaggerated:

  1. Someone who is homosexual and don’t want to make this public, even if this person is doing an homosexual act in public.
  2. Someone who has coworkers that would mock about their last dinner outside.

It looks like for me that either acts are public already so there is no privacy breach there and the main problem here is the bullying by other people regarding their sexual orientation or even simple things like gastronomic taste which could be protected exactly by the surveillance people who engage bullying, thus the arguments appear to be a bit self defeating. In the other hand I noticed that a number of people that I know who are strongly against public recording often engage in socially unacceptable behavior like cheating their partners or vandalism. This personal observation lead me to think that people who don’t want to be recorded probably have a guilty mind of something wrong they did or still do in public space and they don’t want this to be known to the public. Could someone explain me the fallacy of this reasoning?

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    Vanity. There's lot of people who don't want to be photographed for exactly that reason. – Mozibur Ullah Dec 16 '17 at 7:09
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    People have a right to privacy? – Joseph Weissman Dec 16 '17 at 12:49
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    Most of the cameras are not monitored and they are not recording, however they can be turned on if there is a natural disaster, traffic accident, riot etc. Since I strongly support the occasional riot (or at least the possibility of an effective riot) I am against these ubiquitous cameras. The infrastructure of surveillance, and particularly the threat of over-surveillance by government, is a threat to freedom imo. I don't want there to be efficient surveillance. – Gordon Dec 16 '17 at 15:42
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    @GabrielDiego I don't know what to think of of the picture snappers of today. What are they thinking? They are so desperate for friends, even an image will do, except it will not do. Now some people don't like their picture taken. This probably goes back to witchcraft: the power over the image is the power over the person. Anyway, I have not gotten into this picture-taking foolishness, or video foolishness. Even when we had the Kodaks and flashbulbs I was never a big enthusiast. Whether analog or digital, I'd rather look and talk to the real thing. – Gordon Dec 16 '17 at 18:56
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    @GabrielDiego I see. Well you are probably young and you can juggle all this equipment whereas I only use about 2% of my phone's capabilities. I actually checked-out a book on my phone and I never could get through the first chapter. I was beginning to think the phone would own me instead of the other way round. It's enough for me to keep up with my wallet and keys. Well we have been discussing the philosophy of suspicion, and the philosophy of senility I guess. Warhol was a great documentor and he did ok, so you have Warhol on your side. – Gordon Dec 16 '17 at 22:43
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acts are public already so there is no privacy breach there

Equating an event that happened in public to having a recording of an event is a false equivalence.

An event in public can be witnessed live by people who happen to be there. By contrast, a recording is an artifact that grants its possessor the ability to control to whom, whether or not, and when the event is witnessed. Possessing a recording creates a power imbalance not present when merely witnessing an event. This alone makes having a recording drastically different from merely being a live witness. (There are other differences in degree as well, such as that live witnesses can only collect information if they happen to attend to it, but recordings can be played back repetitively and scrutinized).

the main problem here is the bullying by other people regarding their sexual orientation or even simple things like gastronomic taste which could be protected exactly by the surveillance people who engage bullying

This possibly creates another false equivalence, though it's a bit ambiguous.

If you're arguing that it's okay to bully a homosexual/mock an employee's eating habits, if you could in addition catch the bully/mocker, then I'm curious what sort of ethical system you're employing. I don't see how catching the bully/mocker with the same technology erases the harm to the homosexual/employee. Surely not having harm done in the first place is different, and preferable, at least to the affected party who should for that reason have some say.

If you're arguing that nobody who is recorded would want to bully a homosexual, or mock an employee, then you're living on a different planet from me. The notion that the bully would suppress his behavior while being recorded but the homosexual should be unaffected (i.e., free to show affection) while being recorded is extremely naive. It also misses the point; this is a risk assessment issue. Whereas you're not the one facing the potential harm in this scenario, it's not up to you to assess the risk on behalf of the potentially harmed party.

In the other hand I noticed that a number of people that I know who are strongly against public recording often engage in socially unacceptable behavior like cheating their partners or vandalism.

That observation is meaningless. For whatever reason, a large number of people cheat. If you actually used the fact that a large number of people who are against public recording cheat to conclude something, then you're doing something wrong. To just establish a correlation between cheaters and anti-public recorders, you need to have a comparative analysis across all groups (including pro-public recorders); i.e., you cannot ignore the base rates.

This personal observation lead me to think that people who don’t want to be recorded probably have a guilty mind of something wrong they did or still do in public space and they don’t want this to be known to the public.

Let A be that a person cheats. Let B be that the person is against public recording. Then so far, you had been arguing that A=>B. But here, you're concluding from this that if B, then A. In other words, you are arguing:

A=>B, B, therefore A.

That is affirming the consequent.

As it turns out, the most general concern here isn't merely being exposed for doing something wrong. It's any situation where the revelation of information to some particular party can cause a harm. We're not just talking about people being guilty, we're talking about preventing your friend's abusive ex from learning where your friend lives; keeping despotic anti-butter governments from learning where the butter factories are; keeping mobs of butter-on-the-other-side folk from attacking a butter-on-the-same-side proponent. Keeping a thief from learning mothers' maiden names.

Or perhaps, being exposed to a bully for being homosexual, or to rude coworkers for your culinary habits?

  • Thanks for you through answer. I don’t think it is okay to bully anyone under any circumstance, I rather think that bullies and any other person who engages into socially unacceptable behavior usually thinks twice if they think they may or even might be recorded doing that (like corrupt/abusive cops after dashcams were used in US). – Gabriel Diego Dec 17 '17 at 18:26
  • I still think that the doxxer does not do the harm per se. It is the abusive ex that chases after his abused partner and the totalitarian governments that are harmful. An abuser, knowing that he/she will be on the news and never be able to get a job for life if this person does harass the ex, wouldn’t do it (unless the abuser decides to take his own life after that). And also totalitarian governments are well known to manipulate Information to keep going. Freedom of expression on such country would eventually lead to a revolution. – Gabriel Diego Dec 17 '17 at 19:08
  • In practice, people do bad things even if recorded. See Google's experiments attempting to force identity to help control trolls/bullying on YouTube (a massive failure); or consider CCV usage in the UK; or cameras in department stores. So I need a lot of convincing about this: "An abuser, knowing that he/she will be on the news and never be able to get a job for life if this person does harass the ex, wouldn’t do it"; possibly more than you could argue for in comments. ... – H Walters Dec 17 '17 at 19:22
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    "I still think that the doxxer does not do the harm per se." If you want to convince me there's nothing wrong with doxxing in this case, you need to appeal to my ethical framework. If you're doing this, then this is insufficient to remove moral responsibility from the doxxer; the doxxer's being reckless, that suffices. Furthermore, my framework requires systems not be exploitable by malicious agents; if Joe has it out for my friend, Joe might consider doxxing my friend, resulting in the ex causing harm. If that alleviates Joe from responsibility, the framework is bad. – H Walters Dec 17 '17 at 19:32
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    I want to point out that my post is meant solely to try to get you to see a bigger picture, and see a few fallacies. I'm not particularly arguing for specific conclusions, only that there are legitimate privacy concerns here you should weigh in; I think this is basically what you're asking. Outside of that, you must live with your own ethical framework. But if you want to try to convince me of the ethics of particular situations, that's a whole other story; as mentioned in the previous comment, that would engage my moral framework, and I think that's beyond the scope of this question. – H Walters Dec 17 '17 at 19:37
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This logic is a fallacy because it's a classification error. Classification only works one way; you take a specific item and put it into a discreet 'class'. In other words, it's safe to say that all bees are insects; it's not safe to say all insects are bees.

In this instance, you've stated that 'people you know' who have a reason to feel guilty don't like to have their picture taken. Even if that was ALL people you knew who have a reason to feel guilty, it doesn't follow that all people who don't like cameras are guilty.

As has already been stated in comments; there are many other reasons for not liking cameras. The most common I come across is poor self-image. Some people don't like having their photo taken because they don't like how they look in the photos of themselves that they see. (This can be especially so if they don't feel like they stack up to their more glamourous peers.)

Most of the Millennials today can't remember a time when having a photo taken was a big deal; cameras (and especially film) were expensive and you took photos at special occasions. It was something you got ready for, not just something that happened every second moment because cameras are built into phones. This different generational attitude also needs to be taken into consideration.

A similar question that often arises is why so many people object at the United States border to having fingerprints taken. 'Do they have something to hide?' In most cases, the answer is no; you're just dealing with a generation that grew up watching TV shows where the criminals were all being fingerprinted and there's a (now outdated) perception that if you're being fingerprinted, you're being suspected of something.

In that case, it's true to say that all criminals object to having their fingerprints taken. It's false to say that all people who object to having their fingerprints taken are criminals.

The argument about cameras in this question falls into the same category.

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