Big Brother in Venice

It’s nothing new in Venice to learn that someone is watching your moves. The State Inquisition did it for ages, with residents often denouncing their neighbors.

Well, now Venice has the 21st century version, a system that tracks the whereabouts of visitors to the city–where they’re from, where they pause in the street, even how fast they’re moving. This CNN article outlines the details and gives examples of the kind of information they can collect. Or here’s a second, shorter article from Inside Hook that summarizes the program.

Here’s a small example from the CNN article of what they discovered:

“There are 97 people in the area around St Mark’s Square on this Saturday afternoon, according to Bettini — of which only 24 are not Italian.And so far today there have been 955 people in the area, 428 of whom have come from abroad. Of the 527 Italians, only 246 are resident in Venice (if a mobile phone is regularly logged in the city, it is counted as a resident).”

Image from the CNN article

Is this sinister or a necessary step? Will this be a new tool in regulating the number of people who visit the city so that it’s not crushed under the weight of the 30 million (!!!) annual visitors? What do Venetians think of this?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Please add a comment!

About seductivevenice

Teacher, writer, traveler, dancer, reader, photographer, gardener.
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6 Responses to Big Brother in Venice

  1. Bert says:

    They’ll not know where I am! I don’t carry a phone (smart or otherwise)! But if you switch your phone off, doesn’t that mean they can’t follow you? Of course, it means nobody can call you, but you’ll get voicemails and texts when you turn it on again.

  2. Cheers to Bert. It’s good to know that I’m not the only person over 6 years of age who doesn’t carry a phone, smart or otherwise. Interesting article. Grazie.

  3. karen cogan says:

    Wow. I am not sure how I feel about this. One reason I do appreciate Venice so much is how safe I feel there. Maybe this is a good thing In some strange way? Except if they are keeping track of all the wine bars I visit….

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