Boof – You’re Branded – And Arrested!

December 4, 2007 at 6:01 am | Posted in Marketing | 1 Comment
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The BBC reports that Metropolitan police is working on ways to exploit branding on clothes to track people on CCTV:

Police believe that tracking suspects by their distinctive clothes will help cut down on the manual scanning of hundreds of hours of video footage.

The technology is already used to automatically identify company logos in TV broadcasts of sporting events. […]

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s iPM programme [DCI Neville] said, “Many of these young criminals in particular wear distinctive track-suits and coats with logos and sporting emblems and we’re going to use that facility to search, link and identify criminals.”

For a brief moment, the ideology of branding is coming to the surface. Your brands show where you belong – and might make you a suspect. And the middle-classes who wear neither Everlast nor Louis Vuitton are the only ones to walk past unknown.

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  1. Anonymity is best:

    Obscurity was his nature, as well as his profession. The byways of espionage are not populated by the brash and colourful adventurers of fiction. A man who, like Smiley, has lived and worked for years among his country’s enemies learns only one prayer: that he may never, never be noticed.

    Assimilation is his highest aim, he learns to love the crowds who pass him in the street without a glance; he clings to them for his anonymity and his safety. His fear makes him servile – he could embrace the shoppers who jostle him in their impatience, and force him from the pavement. He could adore the officials, the police, the bus conductors, for the terse indifference of their attitudes.

    But this fear, this servility, this dependence, had developed in Smiley a perception of the colour of human beings: a swift, feminine sensitivity to their characters and motives. He knew mankind as a huntsman knows his cover, as a fox the wood.

    (John Le Carre)

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