Every silver lining has a cloud~Mary Kay Ash (1918–2001)
It turns out that we have nothing to fear. The Panopticon suffers from cataracts. Ross Clark has written a book called The Road to Southend Pier. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but it is winging its way to me. Clark tried to outwit the Panopticon by travelling on a route free of the ubiquitous – obviously not totally ubiquitous – cameras. Cambridge to London was a non-starter (little chance of not being photographed there), so he chose Southend.
Everything was tickety-boo until he arrived at the end of the pier where three cameras looked down at him. But when he asked Southend Borough Council for a picture of himself at the end of his journey, the council was unable to oblige. The cameras provided a general view of the estuary. There was a standing figure on the pier but the image was not clear enough to identify who it was. Indeed, an official survey has shown that 80% of CCTV cameras produce pictures so poor that they are good to neither man nor beast.
So we can breathe a little easier. Or can we? Our protection at the moment is incompetence, not the best guarantor of civil liberties.