Why Do Mannequins That Spy On Us Creep Us Out?

Ryan Calo, an assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Law and my go-to source on all things robot: “The fact that the cameras resemble people has two effects, arguably at tension.  On the one hand, mannequins accentuate the perception of observation, and hence the subjective privacy harm to casual shoppers.  Some scholars explain the discomfort people feel with cameras by talking about the cameras as stand ins for people.   Here, the cameras are people—or at least feel like them to us.”

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