NXT Trend: Panopticommunity

The Latest from EPAM Continuum’s Trends Research Group

December 11, 2019
by Margo Dunlap

The Trend

A growing collection of apps are allowing us to record and report on each other for every perceived slight and petty offense. It's a departure from the surveillance state long promised by dystopian fiction; smartphone apps that crowdsource parking violations, noise complaints, or "suspicious activity" are encouraging us to build surveillance communities.

Where We're Seeing It

The Unsettling Rise of the Urban Narc App

"'There’s been this cultural shift of normalizing that it’s OK to be taking photos and videos of other people in public,' said Rachel Thomas, the founding director of the Center for Applied Data Ethics at the University of San Francisco’s Data Institute."
CityLab, August 2019

The Rise of Fear-Based Social Media Like Nextdoor, Citizen, and Now Amazon’s Neighbors

"Of course, unjustified fear, nosy neighbors, and the neighborhood watch are nothing new. But the proliferation of smart homes and smart devices is putting tools like cameras and sensors in doorbells, porches, and hallways across America."
Vox, May 2019

The Porch Pirate of Potrero Hill

"Currently, 17 percent of American homeowners have a smart video surveillance device, and unit sales are expected to double by 2023. The popularity of these devices has led to the 'porch pirate gotcha' film genre, a sort of America’s Funniest Home Videos of petty crime."
The Atlantic, November 2019

About NXT

NXT is EPAM Continuum’s trends research group. We identify and synthesize high-level currents and shifts in global culture, business, and technology from the angle of human behavior and cultural values.

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Image by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

filed in: NXT, complex systems, connectivity, IoT

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