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2018: The Year of the Public Watchlist

A few months ago, I called 2018 the “Rise of Spying Transit Police” but after looking through my archives, I noticed a more disturbing pattern emerging. Time and again, month after month, most of the stories I wrote revolved around one thing — watchlists.

In January, I wrote two stories about facial recognition and police camshares that centered around corporate and law enforcement watchlists. From then on things got progressively worse, watchlists, blacklists and whitelists are expanding at a frightening pace.

Below is a list of twenty-seven stories that show how public watchlists have become commonplace.

January:
1.) Fast food restaurants to use facial recognition to spy on customers
2.) Businesses forced to pay the police to let them spy on customers

February:
3.) AnyVision’s facial recognition cameras are being installed in ‘smart cities’ everywhere

March:
4.) Rental cars to use facial recognition to spy on your vacation
5.) Police are creating a national surveillance network using COMTEC, Project Green Light etc.
6.) NFL, NBA and the NHL use TSA Precheck to spy on fans
7.) Police facial recognition smartphones will be used to create secret watchlists 
8.) MLB teams use TSA Precheck to spy on fans 

April:
9.)  Law enforcement and retail theft company profit from 50 billion record database
10.) ‘Smart City’ projects are really police cam-share programs in disguise

May:
11.) Businesses will use facial biometrics to create their own watchlists
12.) Police CCTV cameras turn citizens into stay-at-home spies, spying on their neighbors 24/7
13.) Police use spying doorbells to create digital neighborhood watch networks

June:
14.) ITIF claims police use of Amazon Rekognition is “patriotic”

July:
15.) TSA screeners allowed to molest and falsely arrest air travelers; watchlist complainers
16.) LPGA’s facial recognition “hospitality program” to be used to convince fans that everyone is a  potential terrorist

August:
17.) MLB and NFL fans submit their faces and fingerprints to buy food, beer and tickets
18.) TSA’s Transit Police use full-body scanners to search and watchlist commuters

September:
19.) “Flock Safety” and police cam-share programs encourage neighborhoods to spy on the public
20.)  2018: The Rise of Spying Transit Police

October:
21.) Blackboard Transact allows university police to track everything a student purchases and everywhere they go
22.) “Covert” facial recognition street lights coming to a neighborhood near you
23.) Surveillance cameras can identify everyone by “talking to their cellphones”

November:
24.) National facial recognition database to use loyalty rewards to identify American shoppers

December:
25.) Homeland Security creates exclusive “Platinum” spy on your neighbors cam-share club
26.) Police use facial recognition doorbells to create private watchlist networks
27.) Hundreds of police departments have secretly created public safety watchlists

Watchlists: The perfect Xmas present for colleges 

If you are still not worried about watchlists, perhaps this will change your mind.

press release in Campus Safety Magazine released the day before Xmas, reveals the frightening future of facial recognition and watchlists.

“Using camera-based analytics and 3xLOGIC’s exclusive facial recognition application and mobile app, users can review facial images captured by the camera and choose persons of interest to place on a watchlist within the camera, according to the company.”

“3xLOGIC says VIGIL TRENDS can automatically synchronize all sites with new persons of interest so users have the latest images. Watchlists can be easily managed through any web browser with internet access to add additional details or make adjustments.”

“VIGIL TRENDS also features an advanced searching feature that can show events when a specific person of interest on the watchlist was detected across multiple sites.”

Make no mistake, watchlists, blacklists and whitelists are a danger to everyone’s freedom.