Recent events have come to light about hospital surveillance that should concern everyone.
Big Tech is using the pandemic as an excuse to turn hospitals into mirror images of law enforcement’s real-time crime centers.
When Google announced that they were donating 10,000 Nest cameras to hospitals, my jaw dropped.
With these Nest Cams, nurses and doctors will be able to check in on patients, supplementing in-person checks. This means there will be a reduction of physical contact, and therefore less of a need for personal protection equipment (PPE), which has fast become a scare resource.
What makes Google’s donation so jaw dropping is how Big Tech companies are using the pandemic to make them appear magnanimous.
With both contact tracing and the Nest Cam solution, however, Google needs to rebuild a reputation as a privacy concerned company due to the sensitive nature of both projects. It’s not going to be an easy task, but one that should remain at the forefront of all such efforts.
Because nothing says reputation builder like putting real-time surveillance cameras in patients’ rooms. Not only will hospitals record patients but they will record nurses, doctors, hospital staff and anyone else who enters a patient’s room. That also includes minors, so no one will be safe from Big Brother’s prying eyes.
As The Guardian found out, it also sends that information to Google servers.
However, Nest admits that when connected to Google’s “Works with Nest integration” system, which allows other devices such as ceiling fans, washing machines and car sensors to integrate with Nest’s products, it does share personal information with Google.
Why would Google donate 10,000 Nest cameras to 6,146 hospitals? Because they are hoping that the staff and patients will grow accustomed to being surveilled 24/7, and they hope hospitals will eventually purchase a Nest Aware subscription.
Nest cameras also record audio, making them the perfect hospital surveillance tool for law enforcement. Although a Google search of “total hospital police departments in the U.S” turned up nothing,