Omniveillance Dry Run – Google Invites Entire World To Record Everything for 24 Hours On 7/24/10

July 7th, 2010

Google is launching a dry run of Omniveillance by inviting the entire world to record everything and anything around them–whether in public or private–for 24 hours on July 24, 2010.

From the Google Blog:

Every day, 6.7 billion people view the world through their own unique lens. Imagine if there was a way to collect all of these perspectives, to aggregate and mold them into the cohesive story of a single day on earth.

Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of “Life in a Day,” a historic cinematic experiment that will attempt to do just that: document one day, as seen through the eyes of people around the world. On July 24, you have 24 hours to capture a snapshot of your life on camera. You can film the ordinary — a sunrise, the commute to work, a neighborhood soccer match, or the extraordinary — a baby’s first steps, your reaction to the passing of a loved one, or even a marriage.

While this is a fascinating project, that I am sure will make for some compelling cinema, this project really serves a broader goal. It makes people more comfortable with submitting personal recordings of themselves to the Cloud. People, enamored with the interesting stories of people around the world will become more comfortable with being recorded themselves, even in public. Such a film desensitizes people to notions of what should stay public, and what should stay private.

Google makes no effort on the page to caution people to only record people with their permission. And I doubt people, accustomed to the pervasive monitoring of Google Street View will discern the distinction, especially if these events take place in public.

Perhaps most importantly, unlike Street View, Google is not doing the recording–regular people are. Of course it is easier to boil a lobster by putting it in cold water, and slowly heating the pot up. But Google invites lobsters to hop into the pot!

This is actually quite an ingenuous plan, and a good dry run for full-out omniviellance