Mother and son

The new science of family surveillance

Mother and son united? Mother and son united?
Recently a story emerged of a boy on a gap year trip fitted with a tracker device so his mother could follow his progress. I first read a version of this story in a local paper, now local papers are not noted for either rigour or opinion, however, there was both in this case. But first the facts.

The boy is called Harry Wilder, he is 19 years old, his mother is Rachel and they hail from Oxfordshire. Harry is off to Thailand, Australia and South Africa. The tracking device utilises the Global Positioning System satellites and is accurate to within 15 feet; his mother follows his progress on a computer.

From the outset the story had a certain odd quality about it.

Spies in the sky looking at YOU

Yet more loss of civil liberties

French UAVFrench UAV
Both the
and the Daily Mail write about the proposal to employ drones to further impinge on our privacy and civil liberties. They imply that this is a cross party decision by the House of Commons Defence committee. However, that committee comprises 8 labour, 4 Tory and 2 Lib Dems so is not exactly unbiassed. We never think of these things unaided, naturally there is an EU. The European Union’s joint defence ministry has signed an agreement with a consortium of European defence contractors to develop a strategy for integrating unmanned aerial vehicles into European airspace by 2015.See here

Deutsche Welle tells us that in February:

[i]The European Commission agreed to a plan to collect fingerprints and photographs from foreigners entering the EU, part of an effort to fortify the bloc's borders. The plan, which was presented on Wednesday, Feb. 13, could see EU funds used to develop surveillance equipment like cameras, sensors and pilot-less drones.

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