There’s little doubt that surveillance cameras are becoming increasingly ubiquitous, and that there’s really no such thing as privacy in public. But monitoring images visible to the naked eye may one day look quaint compared to the next generation of surveillance technologies.
One company is developing a new technology that uses UV rays to detect trace amounts of illegal substances on objects, like door handles. So, a cop walking through the hallway of an apartment building could quickly zap each door handle to get an idea of who might be in possession of illegal narcotics.
You can probably imagine many different applications of this technology, like streetlights that can tell what drivers had alcohol touch their lips that night.
The question isn’t whether this technology is bad or good, it’s whether it can be used without being abused.
At the moment, the courts have ruled against the use of drug-monitoring technology without a warrant, but it’s not like nobody ever ignored the law before. And please, don’t bother with the argument “If you have no drug residue on your door handle, then you have nothing to hide.”