Smile, you’re on worldwide webcam

30XRBuytRPqJIFysoeMO_narrative.ly_opentopia_There is a nice article about Opentopia on The journalists interviewed us and several owners of the cams you see here on the site.

A scroll through the site Opentopia offers hundreds of such views from publicly available cameras streaming online — more than 820 in the U.S. alone — silently gazing over public parks, into waiting rooms, on front porches. This antidote to reality television encourages patience and discovery: the subtle thrill of live surveillance footage, of watching while being unseen, brings the power of spying to any viewer with a broadband connection and time on their hands.

Webcam aggregation sites touch on the paradox of data availability — we choose to share much of our lives publicly but often feel uneasy at the thought of being watched. The reality is that so much of what we do, especially when viewed through the stationary lens of a webcam, is mundane. In fact, the sheer ordinariness of our day-to-day routines can be seen as protection, a way to inoculate against privacy invasion by turning the Big Brother eye on yourself.

The article discusses this paradox and the border zone between what is public and what isn’t. Indeed, probably most of the cams you find on this site were meant to be public. Some of them are accidental. And that’s part of the intrigue. The cam feeds have been found automatically, so we don’t necessarily know in advance. And don’t assume that you know what people want. The owner of a camera that shows their living room might actually be perfectly fine about sharing it with you. If you yourself wouldn’t be, that’s fine too.

July 5, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Mentions | No comment



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