Written by Nick Heer.

Even When Closely Watched, Surveillance Is Easy to Misinterpret

Trevor Timm, writing for the New York Times about what it was like to be on the other side when his wife, Kashmir Hill, surveilled him using location beacons:

Despite what some readers said in the comments section of the article and on social media, I have a trusting wife, and I was happy to play a small role in highlighting the privacy implications of emerging technology. But when I heard and saw all of these misinterpretations about my day, I couldn’t help but think of all the people who might be surveilled without their consent, whether it’s by a spouse, an employer or law enforcement.

Timm connects Hill’s mild confusion about his day to the U.S. military’s misinterpretation of video feeds last year when they killed ten civilians — including seven children and Zemari Ahmadi, an aid worker — in a drone strike. Clearly, these are not directly comparable events, but there are echoes in a failure to correctly understand surveillance.