Upper Hutt Leader - - FRONT PAGE -

If you’ve done noth­ing wrong you have noth­ing to worry about? Be very care­ful about how much faith you put in that so-of­ten sanc­ti­mo­nious re­as­sur­ance.

Most re­cently it’s be­ing in­toned by the harden-up bri­gade in light of the rev­e­la­tion that Food­stuffs, the owner of New World and Pak’n Save, is us­ing sur­veil­lance-shar­ing soft­ware

As­sum­ing they’re con­fi­dent they have them­selves done noth­ing wrong, we must surely as­sume that the com­pany pro­vid­ing the soft­ware, Auror, and its other clients in­clud­ing Farm­ers, Briscoes, and Mitre 10, all hap­pily wel­come the pub­lic­ity and at­ten­dant scru­tiny.

The ef­fec­tive­ness of the ‘‘noth­ing wrong’’ re­as­sur­ance does largely de­pend on our con­fi­dence that the soft­ware is - and will only ever be - ap­plied solely for the task we’ve been told about: pick­ing up sho­plifters and peo­ple whose con­duct en­dan­gers staff or the pub­lic, and shar­ing the in­for­ma­tion so that they can swiftly be iden­ti­fied, per­haps ap­pre­hended, else­where.

In it­self, that’s ex­cel­lent. It’s hard to over­look, how­ever, that among the other coun­tries cited as be­ing okay with this we have China, which is keen to keep an eye on its dis­senters.

Less darkly (but per­haps not that much less), are con­cerns about com­pa­nies build­ing pro­files of our in­di­vid­ual habits.

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