Demonstration Pics vs. Privacy
I've been to the “Freedom not Fear” demonstration here in Berlin yesterday. It was a good demonstration with a lot of great people, funny slogans and good speakers. Even the weather was great. And of course there where dozens of cameras.
This is completely okay by me. Everybody wants to keep memories and so did I.
Lots of cameras even have a good side effect: police violence is now documented much better and chances to identify individual officers are much higher.
However, this morning I checked flickr for pics and not to my surprise there are hundreds of photos of the event already. But what disturbed me was that nobody seemed to take the time to pixelize or black out the faces of others. Especially for a privacy demonstration against surveillance this is really bad.
The right to attend a demonstration anonymously is very important. People need to be able to protest the surveillance at their workplace for example without fear of getting fired when their employer spots them. This right is already in danger by the police filming demonstrators and the prohibition to hide your face. But having your face visible on potentially thousands of photos available on the net for years, multiplies this danger.
It is just a matter of (CPU) time before face recognition will be introduced on Flickr, Facebook or Google image search. With it your future employers and the government will be able to easily find out if you attended a demonstration not matching their world view.
It would be nice if the organizers of demonstrations would make attendees aware of the fact and just ask them to pixelize the faces of others before sharing photos.
Anyway, pixelized demo pictures after the jump.