Mass surveillance can come in many different ways. Few people would expect balloons in the stratosphere to post a massive threat to consumer privacy.
The concept of launching balloons into the stratosphere is not novel by any means.
Balloons are a Powerful Surveillance Tool
In the US, there is a dedicated launch pad for such vehicles, located at Spaceport Tucson.
This business model allows for some interesting sue cases, albeit those may have problematic consequences.
World View is one of the companies trying to do some good with these balloons.
While the company’s initial business model had to be modified somewhat, the stratospheric balloons are still making their way up now and then.
World View offers a high-quality image of the images it takes photographs of.
This is very different from satellite images and drones, however.
These images are then sold to the government and private companies, basically, the highest bidder.
Albeit this seems innocent, the quality of the images poses a threat to consumers.
Being able to observe the world’s population from 75,000 feet is a worrisome thought.
This company has now attracted the interest of the US DoD, who are always keen to explore surveillance options.
How the company will use and potentially modify the data to protect consumers, remains to be determined.