(Thermally) Searching Your House in the Name of Energy Efficiency

“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.” –Benito Mussolini

The quote may seem a little overreaching. But bear with me a minute.

Two startups have come up with an interesting idea… run a thermal camera-equipped car through residential neighborhoods. Ostensibly, to map out which houses could stand to have better insulation. The data is available to homeowners who ask for it, of course. But it’s also being sold to companies and governments.

Pretty harmless, right? Well, chew on this.

22 years ago, police used a thermal imager to scan the home of a guy named Danny Kyllo.

Based on the thermal images of Kyllo’s house, the cops got a search warrant and found a marijuana grow op.

A decade later, Kyllo’s case was the basis of a landmark civil liberties ruling… which declared thermal camera use to be a “search” which requires a warrant.

But hey, it’s fine as long as a private company does it, right?


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