If you plan on riding the San Francisco subway anytime soon, be forewarned: Big Brother will be watching you. The city is installing "pre-crime cameras" in the transport system, which also encompasses trams and buses.
This plan has echoes of the Steven Spielberg film, Minority Report, in which Tom Cruise plays a police captain who tries to deter criminal activity before it occurs. Unfortunately, though, this is real life.
What will define suspicious behavior? San Francisco isn't the first major city to install these types of surveillance systems. These eyes in the sky are all over Manhattan, and are being proposed for other cities as well.
There is no evidence this type of surveillance is effective. Despite all the camera surveillance in Times Square, the 2010 bomb plot was foiled by two alert street vendors, who noticed a suspicious vehicle parked on the street. In that case, for instance, the electronic surveillance was useless.
Apparently, the San Francisco pre-cameras will be programmed to pick out people who are exhibiting aberrant behavior. Of course, this plan sounds ridiculous. You're allowing a computer to judge whether a human being is acting normal or not.
Guards will then be alerted via text or telephone, and will decide whether to investigate. The manufacturer of the pre-crime cameras, BRS Labs, said it has installed similar devices at tourist sites and military bases throughout the country.