No more frank chitchats about gahmen with taxi uncles?


Obbana Rajah

Cameras in taxis and private-hire cars, cameras atop lampposts with facial recognition – cameras, cameras everywhere.

It is going to be impossible to go anywhere in Singapore, outside the privacy of one’s home, without being monitored.

With over 100,000 lampposts here about to be equipped with cameras that can recognise and track faces, everyone will have their very own Big Brother keeping watch.

Not only that, taxis and private-hire cars have recently been given the green light to install inward-facing cameras in their cars.

The cameras are part of a ‘Smart Nation’ project that aims to make use to technology in a way that improves the lives of Singaporeans. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that he did not want it done in a way “which is overbearing, which is intrusive, which is unethical”.

However, the current rules and regulations set are already very lax and they do hardly anything to protect the privacy of people. For example, according to the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), taxi drivers will not be able to upload any of those videos onto social media.

But, anything else they choose to do with the video is fair game.

Netizen Allan Zhuo brought up a fair point:

Furthermore, while the lampposts with facial recognition features might be aimed to boost anti-terrorism measures, how will people know who gets to view its footage, and when?

Many express disapproval at all these measures.

Just know this: everyone is being watched – everywhere, all the time.

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