CAMLAW: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog

doorbell cams, wi-fi sniffers, RFID passes, bag searches, and photo lookups

The death of privacy is here.

Cory Doctorow writes in Fortune on Snitchtown:

In the brave new world of doorbell cams, wi-fi sniffers, RFID passes, bag searches at the subway and photo lookups at office security desks, universal surveillance is seen as the universal solution to all urban ills. But the truth is that ubiquitous cameras only serve to violate the social contract that makes cities work....In London, residents are photographed more than 300 times a day.

The death of privacy has been written about extensively. What is frightening is the ubiquity of surveillance. Doctorow provocatively asks: "When the city surveils its citizens, it legitimizes our mutual surveillance--what's the difference between the cops watching your every move, or the mall owners watching you, or you doing it to the guy next door?"

It isn't just the technology that has shifted, it's the cultural assumptions about privacy's importance. Ubiquitous surveillance is surely a public health issue, and a key imbalance in the social fabrice that should be accounted for in holistic health care, along with environmental pollution and the hodge-podge of "toxins" we are said to carry, physical and mental and spiritual.

In Constitutional jurisprudence, privacy has been elevated to a fundamental right. Today's ubiquitous surveillance technology and practice strips privacy to a wish dimly desired.
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Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen offers general corporate legal services, litigation consultation, and expertise in health law with a unique focus on holistic, alternative, complementary, and integrative medical therapies. The law firm represents medical doctors, allied health professionals (from psychologists to nurses and dentists) and other clinicians (from chiropractors to naturopathic physicians, massage therapists, and acupuncturists), entrepreneurs, hospitals, and educational organizations, health care institutions, and individuals and corporations.

Michael H. Cohen is Principal in Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen and also President of the Institute for Integrative and Energy Medicine (also known as the Institute for Health, Ethics, Law, Policy & Society), a forum for exploring legal, regulatory, ethical, and health policy issues involved in the judicious integration of complementary and alternative medical therapies (such as acupuncture and traditional oriental medicine, chiropractic, massage therapy, and herbal medicine) and conventional clinical care. The most recent published book by Michael H. Cohen on health care law, regulation, ethics and policy pertaining to complementary, alternative and integrative medicine and related fields is Healing at the Borderland of Medicine and Religion. This book completes the cycle begun in Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Legal Boundaries and Regulatory Perspectives (1998), and continued in Beyond Complementary Medicine: Legal and Ethical Perspectives on Health Care and Human Evolution (2000), and Future Medicine: Ethical Dilemmas, Regulatory Challenges, and Therapeutic Pathways to Health Care and Healing in Human Transformation (2003).

As of 2007, health care and corporate attorney Michael H. Cohen has been admitted to the Bar of California, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington D.C., and to the Bar of England and Wales as a Solicitor (non-practicing). For more information, see the FAQs for the Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen.
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