June 12, 2009 5:19PM

Social Control as a Profit Center

Here’s an idea that should be killed in the crib: scanning automobiles for up‐​to‐​date insurance.

Says Gizmodo (via ars technica and the Chicago Sun‐​Times):

The system is anticipated to raise yearly earnings “well in excess” of $100 million (possibly even double that figure or more), with InsureNet taking a modest 30% for their services. Of course, all of this cash would be contingent on uninsured drivers actually paying their fines.

There will be thousands more reasons like this put forward for mass public surveillance. The answer should almost always be no because of the accumulations of data about law‐​abiding citizens such programs would collect in government (and government‐​contractor) databases.