Vision 20/20 offers a service that allows a user to put in their ZIP code and get back a map of nearby registererd sex offenders. "There are 650,000 registered sex offenders in America – and that number grows by about 25,000 every year," according to the company. "Wouldn’t you like to know if any of them are living in your neighborhood? Now you can!"
And not only that: "You can also register with POM Offender Locator to receive an alert the moment any new offender moves into your neighborhood. It’s a Free service!"
Is this sort of service, based on powerful networked technologies -- and one being sold on the basis of fear -- an appropriate use of the technology? Where is the data being sourced from? How are the people inputting it being supervised? And what rights to privacy and presumptions of innocence are the people it tracks entitled to?
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