I am getting one of those uneasy flashbacks, this time to a movie I saw ages ago, called “Minority Report“.
“In a future where a special police unit is able to arrest murderers before they commit their crimes, an officer from that unit is himself accused of a future murder.”
We are really getting the preview of that now in the wake of the shootings in American schools. Some software company claims that their software can alert the schools to future crimes by monitoring students’ social network posts.
Yeah, I know, how stupid would you be to post stuff to your social network when you know there is a program monitoring you. But that aside, we are actually looking at the situation so vividly depicted in the “Minority Report”.
Should this kind of monitoring be welcomed, the students will receive punishments before they actually commit any misdeeds. Okay, that may prevent some of the crimes from happening but are you willing to bet your life that the students would actually commit them if they were left alone? We do not have the presumption of innocence for nothing. Employing the “punishment before crime” system changes that presumption into “presumed to commit crime even though actually didn’t and never will”.
That just does not work in my book. Parents must watch over their children and must bring them up as stable and responsible human beings. When parents fail, we must not give in to the temptation of technology. Remember that those who are willing to sacrifice their freedom for their safety deserve neither.