So why do you do these things? My guess is, it’s because you care about your privacy. The idea that privacy is dead is a myth. The idea that people don’t care about their privacy because “they have nothing to hide” or they’ve done nothing wrong is also a myth. I’m guessing that you would not want to publicly share on the internet, for the world to see, all of your medical records. Or your search histories from your phone or your computer. And I bet that if the government wanted to put a chip in your brain to transmit every one of your thoughts to a centralized government computer, you would balk at that.

Nonetheless, we daily face a propaganda onslaught telling us that we have to give up some privacy in exchange for safety through surveillance programs. Face surveillance is the most dangerous of these technologies. There are two primary ways today governments use technologies like this. One is face recognition. That’s to identify someone in an image. The second is face surveillance, which can be used in concert with surveillance-camera networks and databases to create records of all people’s public movements, habits and associations, effectively creating a digital panopticon.

Just consider how trivial it would be for a government agency to put a surveillance camera outside a building where people meet for Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. They could connect that camera to a face-surveillance algorithm and a database, press a button and sit back and collect a record of every person receiving treatment for alcoholism. It would be just as easy for a government agency to use this technology to automatically identify every person who attended the Women’s March or a Black Lives Matter protest. Even the technology industry is aware of the gravity of this problem.