It’s that time again! Dennis and Tom return to the time-honored tradition of sharing their summer reading plans with listeners. After discussing their reading habits and some favorite digital reading tools, they offer up their top book picks for the summer – both fiction and non!
Next, this time on “Hot or Not?”, Dennis and Tom discuss CCTV, its significant privacy implications, and whether they think it might gain more of a foothold in the United States.
As always, stay tuned for the parting shots, that one tip, website, or observation you can use the second the podcast ends.
Have a technology question for Dennis and Tom? Call their Tech Question Hotline at 720-441-6820 for answers to your most burning tech questions.
Special thanks to our sponsors, Colonial Surety Company, ServeNow, and Nota.
Mentioned in This Episode
A Segment: Summer Reading Lists 2021
- Dennis’ Books
- This is How They Tell Me the World Ends – Nicole Perlroth – This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race – Kindle edition by Perlroth, Nicole. Politics & Social Sciences Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.
- The Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood and the World – Tom Wright Amazon.com: Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World eBook: Wright, Tom, Hope, Bradley: Kindle Store
- The Data Detective: Ten Easy Rules to Make Sense of Statistics – Tim Harford Amazon.com : the data detective
- The Parable of the Sower – Octavia Butler Parable of the Sower – Kindle edition by Butler, Octavia E.. Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.
- The Parable of the Talents – Octavia Butler Amazon.com : the parable of the talents
- I Came as a Shadow – John Thompson Amazon.com : i came as a shadow john thompson
- The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keyes – Zachary Carter Amazon.com: The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes eBook: Carter, Zachary D.: Kindle Store
- A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction – Christopher Alexander A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center for Environmental Structure Series) – Kindle edition by Alexander, Christopher. Arts & Photography Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.
- Technology Revolutions and Financial Capital – Carlota Perez Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages: Carlota Perez: 8601405606587: Amazon.com: Books
- Four Lost Cities – Annalee Newitz Amazon.com : four lost cities
- Tom’s Books
- A World Without Email – Cal Newport Amazon.com: A World Without Email: Reimagining Work in an Age of Communication Overload eBook: Newport, Cal: Kindle Store
- Keep Sharp – How to Build a Better Brain at Any Age – Sanjay Gupta Amazon.com: Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age eBook: Gupta, Sanjay: Kindle Store
- Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting – Lisa Genova Amazon.com: Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting eBook: Genova, Lisa: Kindle Store
- Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice that Shapes What We See, Think, and Do – Jennifer Eberhardt Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do – Kindle edition by Eberhardt, Jennifer L.. Health, Fitness & Dieting Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.
- You’re About to Make a Terrible Mistake: How Biases Distort Decision-Making and What You can Do to Fight Them – Olivier Sibony Amazon.com: You’re About to Make a Terrible Mistake: How Biases Distort Decision-Making and What You Can Do to Fight Them eBook: Sibony, Olivier: Kindle Store
- The Salvation Sequence
B Segment: Hot or Not – CCTV in the US
VR in Law Practice Webinar – https://www.law.msu.edu/lawtech/video-resources.html
Intro: Web 2.0, Innovation, Trend, Collaboration, Software, Metadata… Got the world turning as fast as it can, hear how technology can help, legally speaking with two of the top legal technology experts, authors and lawyers, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Welcome to The Kennedy-Mighell Report here on the Legal Talk Network.
Dennis Kennedy: And welcome to Episode 288 of The Kennedy-Mighell Report. I am Dennis Kennedy in Ann Arbor.
Tom Mighell: And I am Tom Mighell in Dallas. Before we get started, we’d like to thank our sponsors. First of all, we’d like to thank Nota powered by M&T Bank. Nota is banking built for lawyers and provides smart no-cost IOLTA account management. Visit trustnota.com/legal to learn more. That’s N-O-T-A Nota. Terms and conditions may apply.
Dennis Kennedy: Next, we’d like to thank Colonial Surety Company Bonds & Insurance for bringing you this podcast. Whatever court bond you need, get a quote and purchase online at colonialsurety.com/podcast.
Tom Mighell: And we’d like to thank ServeNow, a nationwide network of trusted pre-creened process servers. Work with the most professional process servers who have experience with high volume serves, embrace technology and understand the litigation process. Visit servenow.com to learn more.
Dennis Kennedy: And with so many new podcasts announcing their very first podcast these days, we occasionally like to mention that at 15 years and counting, this is the longest continuously running legal tech podcast out there. In our last episode we looked at how COVID has changed the cyber security landscape and what we all can do to protect ourselves. In other words, a big topic most people don’t like to talk about. In this episode we kick off the summer season with a podcast tradition looking at summer reading lists and making recommendations for our listeners. Tom, what’s all on our agenda for this episode?
Tom Mighell: Well Dennis, in this edition of the Kennedy-Mighell Report, we will indeed be talking about our summer reading plans. In our second segment, we’re going to do another round of our new hot or not segment. And as usual, we’ll finish up with our parting shots that one tip website or observation that you can start to use the second that this podcast is over. But first up, what are we planning to read this summer and have our reading practices evolved over the past few years? A few years ago, we got into the habit of talking about our summer reading list and it has become a nice summer break from talking about technology all the time although some of our books do deal with technology. This year in addition to discussing the books we plan on reading, we also wanted to talk a little bit about how our reading habits may or may not have changed as we get older as a result of the pandemic and for other reasons. Dennis, let’s start with you, have your reading practices changed over the last few years?
Dennis Kennedy: You know, one of the things I like about this episode is not just that we talk about books, but we kind of talk about how reading has changed over the years. And as I thought about it for this segment, I realized that more than I’d ever imagined I think in my life that audio books are now such an important part of my reading list, and that frankly surprises me. And it’s an interesting development. It shifted me away a bit from podcasts. Part of it is as you get older, it’s a little bit harder to read paper books, but that to me is the big change Tom, I don’t know about you. Have you seen much in the way of changes?
Tom Mighell: You know, the real change for me has been in the type of book that that I’ve been reading. The past couple of years I’ve had my share of some tragedies and some sad moments and I don’t know if it’s because of that that this has changed, but I found that I have really gone more towards reading fiction and frankly, the fiction that I read tends to be fantasy and so there’s probably a theme there that a psychiatrist or psychologist can read into that if they want to but I used to read a lot of history, I used to read a lot more non-fiction that I read, and now I just don’t have the patience, I just don’t enjoy it, but I enjoy getting into a good fiction story and more often than not fantasy or science fiction. That’s the major change that I’ve had that I would say that’s probably the biggest change for me over the past couple years and how my reading habits have evolved.
Dennis Kennedy: Well, one of the other things that I’ve noticed is I think the categories of what I consider books have changed. So I think there are the paper books, there’s definitely e-books, there’s audio books.
There’s what I call web captures and PDFs to sort of white papers, long form content you get off the web. It’s possible in some ways to me that longish videos are even a new book category. So, my reading I realize doesn’t consist of just the books that are on the shelves, but there are a number of other categories. Do you have the same sense, Tom?
Tom Mighell: Well, I just want to say videos or videos, books are books. Videos are not books, that’s not a thing. So I will find that I watch a lot of videos too on YouTube these days but I will never consider them to be reading books. It’s hard for me to say that I’m reading a book when I listen to an audiobook, but it’s actually a book that I’m listening to. So, that to me is okay with me. What I find is my approach has generally been the same over the past couple of years is I try to read two to three books kind of simultaneously. I’m reading two fiction books at a time, one an e-book and one an audiobook, depending on where I am and where I’m reading it, I’m listening to a book or I’m reading a book. And then I’ve got a non-fiction book or some such thing that I’m reading along with it.
I would say though that if anything — I keep saying what I’ve mentioned what had changed earlier, I think I’m reading more articles and newsletters these days for keeping current than I used to. I think that those tend to be more what I’m reading, I wouldn’t call those books even if some of them might be long form, but I would say that that’s the content that I read, maybe more often than I read books in the past. I think it’s more shifting over to articles and newsletters. I would say that that’s at least as much time I spend on that than on the three books I read every week.
Dennis Kennedy: You know, you’ve kind of raised an interesting meta question, Tom. So if you’re watching a video of an author doing a reading from his or her book how am I —
Tom Mighell: That’s just an interview. A reading is an excerpt from a book. So yeah, that’s a meta question, still not a book.
Dennis Kennedy: So, I also find that in a sense, I have this way of reading that where I will listen to interviews of an author where they talk about their books or I might read summaries of business books. So those are also some different approaches I know have to reading and I think that lawyers should be looking ahead to what I think will be the breakthrough in AI where Artificial Intelligence can read lengthy boring material and summarize them for us. So, that’s one of the things I’m looking forward to. Also, I see some behavioral changes in myself, Tom, and I don’t know whether you had the same things, but now I used to be like if I started a book, then you know by God, I was going to finish it no matter how bad it was or how much I wasn’t enjoying it.
Now, I’m comfortable not finishing books, I’m comfortable especially with non-fiction, and I’d say especially business books. Reading the introduction, reading the conclusion, and then making decisions whether I’m going to read the rest of it. The other behavioral change I noticed is I now have prescription reading glasses and that’s enabled me to have much more comfort reading books. I’m actually reading more paper books recently because of having the reading glasses. So, some of those things change and for me what’s interesting about audio books is I can read a book in text a lot faster than I can listen to a book in audio. So, I sometimes feel like it takes me longer to “read audio books” than regular books.
Tom Mighell: Oh no, I have a different experience and I’ve never really understood how freakishly fast you read books because you read so much faster than I do. But for me, the benefit of the audiobook is the ability to listen to it at one and a half times and that’s usually what I do is I turn it up to that. In fact, when I an audio book at regular speed, it sounds weird to me now, it sounds like they’re intentionally drawing things out that it doesn’t even feel realistic. You know, I’m torn on the whole summaries of books and here’s why, I’m spending a lot of time highlighting in books and keeping things back that I tend to read wise and so I’ve got notes and highlights and things like that being saved in my second brain and a summary is not going to help with that. I’m going to miss out on some of the good content that the author is going to write from. So, I’m not a huge fan of the summaries for that main reason. I’ve never been one to finish to keep reading a book no matter how much I dislike it.
I will usually tell within the first 50 pages if I’m going to read a book and it’s gone if I don’t like it within that. Sometimes sooner than that and good on you that you’re just now getting reading glasses, I’ve had them for a long time and so I wish my eyes had lasted longer than they did, but I’m comfortable reading books. But I tend to read electronic books. I can’t remember the last time that I held a paper book in my hand to read it.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, well, to be fair here, Tom and to correct your impression, I got new prescription reading glasses. Because actually reading without glasses which is okay but actually the scope of my vision is a lot broader now wearing the prescription reading glasses. The other thing I noticed is I get a lot of the reading from two sources. So one is Libby which a lot of people have access to through their public library which allows you to basically find books, put them on hold, read them electronically both E-books and audio books and then I use the service that we’ve talked about before called Scribd or Scribed S-C-R-I-B-D which I’ve heard people pronounce as Scribd but I can’t stop myself from calling it Scribed which has been described as a Netflix of books, which then allows you to get access to all kinds of books without buying them, just simply by paying a monthly subscription fee.
I started to focus recently on I look at those two services of two aspects of reading, so one is I call serendipity and the other is planned reading. So, if I’m on Libby, it’s like I’m at the library and so whatever new book looks interesting to me, I might read it. So it’s not planned. And then I also have planned reading because I have a few shelves of unread books and I just want to knock those down. So, I don’t know whether you’re doing that Tom or you have. So I’m just kind of, hey, I heard about this or I saw a book that looks interesting versus the books that you plan to read.
Tom Mighell: I have no serendipity in my philosophy of reading. I keep a list of books, I counted for the purpose of this podcast to see kind of what’s on my pending list of books, and it’s about a hundred books right now on that list. So, it’s quite big. So, doing things for serendipity’s sake would just take me away from that broader purpose that I have. No, it’s all planned for me, but I want to actually skip down just a little bit in your outline because I’m curious here, you have a point in your outline for this segment about how do we support authors. And so I want to challenge you on that because I would say that the main way that I support authors is I buy their books, I buy their audiobooks, I buy their e-books. Now, granted they may not make a ton of money on it but they’re making more money than if you get them through a library service or through a subscription service like Scribd. So I’m curious about why you wanted to talk about how do we support authors because it feels like that you could be supporting them more by actually buying their books.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah. So I raised that question because I think that comes into play. And so you have many people who do like to read and have used public libraries in the past who don’t want to pay a lot for new books especially if they’re taking a chance on whether the books will be good or not. A lot of people feel that the book market for most authors really kind of collapsed in the last year or so in many cases. There’s a great article I saw which maybe I can find and we can put in the show, notes showing how few authors really can make a living off of writing books. So I think it’s like music, everything else, all of the arts, we need to think about how we consume these things and I’m not saying that I have any answers because I would like to pay the least that I can, but I do think we need to think about how we support authors and sometimes that’s going to be things like you pay to go to an event like a book reading when a book is released or you pay extra to have a paperback copy autographed, or you do some other things like that where you’re getting them some kind of revenue that might be different than royalties because you don’t want to pay that amount for a book, or you just don’t want to have a bunch of books in your house.
So, I don’t know whether that’s a full answer Tom, but it’s just something I’ve started to think more and more about. And since we’re writing a book and we would love to have like all our listeners buy the book and then we would get rich off the royalties, but frankly that’s not likely to happen.
Tom Mighell: No, you’re right, and I think that there are probably like you say better ways to do it and I’d like to find some of those other ways, but I’ve unfortunately am still kind of stuck on the buy a book and support them that way method.
Dennis Kennedy: So, now on to the controversial part of the segment which is I’m doing something new this summer which is I looked at these books that I have on the shelves and they’re paper books and I have these new reading glasses and I’m like, “You know, I’ve had these books for a long time and I keep saying I’m going to read them and I never get around to doing it.” And so, how can I make myself do that and I could do something where I said, “Hey, if I haven’t read these books by the end of the summer or the end of the year, I’m just getting rid of them because I’m never going to read them.” And I wasn’t willing to make that kind of commitment but I said, “What if I — because I’m teaching classes and we have a syllabus in the class, “so what if I take those books and I divide them into topics and I create a reading syllabus for the summer. It says, this week I’m going to read these couple of books on this topic and then by the end of the summer I divide them up and I should be able to get through these books on the shelf right beside me.” And I thought that might be a good way. I mean it’s an experiment, it’s likely to fail as it is to succeed. But I thought it was an interesting experiment to try and you’ve hinted before we started recording time that maybe you’re not buying this approach, but I’m curious to what your reactions to that syllabus approach is.
Tom Mighell: Well, I mean, I think that as an idea and as a method of clearing your books out, I think having a theme and a topic is not a bad one. I probably couldn’t do that because I would need more variety. I think I would get restless for something else sooner depending on how many books I had on a particular topic. But I think that when you introduced this as a subject of our segment, it sort of made me wonder when we went back to looking at this and I started to think about what the notion of the summer reading list is in the first place. And to me, the summer reading list if I think about, it’s the reading list that when I was on summer vacation in school it was the list of books that my teachers gave me to read.
And so, I think that my only pushback against kind of this whole notion is that I would guess that the vast majority of our readers don’t have the luxury of putting together a syllabus, and putting together this week my topic is this and I’m going to read five books this week, and next week my topic is this and I’m going to read three books next week, and I think that the whole notion of the summer reading list is probably a more foreign or alien idea for people who aren’t somewhere related to education who get time off during the summer to be able to read things or students or otherwise and that the majority of us like me only has maybe five or six hours a week to read a book at most, and so it’s harder to put a list together and stick to a discipline of a syllabus when you don’t have that much time.
Dennis Kennedy: So first of all I’m going to go ahead and advocate right now that all our listeners get three months off each year during the summer that they can do whatever they want.
Tom Mighell: Hey, I’m all for that.
Dennis Kennedy: Also, I think you raised an interesting point Tom, because I do think that this summer reading list, the notion is this is stuff that I will read on vacation or because things are slower during the summer or might be traveling more, those kinds of things and that has changed. Definitely that was not the case last year, be a little different this year. But let’s go to some recommendations. Tom, do you want to go first.
Tom Mighell: You mean like go back and forth is that what you’re thinking?
Dennis Kennedy: No, I’m thinking that we just kind of blaze through them and then since we don’t know each other’s list, we’ll see whether I have to edit mine because you’ve taken something I have.
Tom Mighell: I’m almost positive that nothing on my list is on yours. Maybe one book, maybe. So, the way that I divided the list to the recommendations that I have are topics that I’m interested in reading about for one reason or the other. So, first one, the one that comes closest to my technology book of the summer and to be honest, I’m probably almost a third away through it right now, so it’ll be done pretty soon, and that is ‘A World Without Email’ by Cal Newport.
Cal Newport has done a bunch of books on deep work and about digital minimalism. His new book is ‘A World Without Email’, you know part of my job is information governance so email is a big part of that. I am very interested in his arguments. He makes a lot of very good arguments about why email is a bad thing, but I’m not sure I agree with all of his methods to solve the problem about email. One other area that I’m interested in is I’m living with a relative now who as a result of declining age, memory is getting worse. It’s a natural function, it’s not it’s not dementia or anything, it’s just a natural function of the memory getting bad. And so building a better brain to me is a is interesting. So there’s two books that are interesting to me at this point right now. Actually, the doctor from CNN has a well-regarded book out right now called ‘Keep Sharp: How To build a Better Brain at Any Age’, that’s on my list. And then the other one is by Lisa Genova I guess is her name, she’s had a couple of her books become movies. I think I forget it was called Forgetting Alice I think or Remembering Alice, I don’t remember what that was called, but this is called ‘Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting’. So, those are the two books I’m looking at for building a better brain.
I am still interested in learning more about anti-racism, those types of issues. And so, I’m looking at two books right now, one is called ‘Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do’ by Jennifer Eberhardt, and then ‘You’re About to Make a Terrible Mistake: How Biases Distort Decision Making and What You Can Do To Fight Them’ by Olivier Sibony I guess is how you pronounce it. And then the last set of books since I’m going to talk about fiction, I’m going to mention a trilogy which gets both science fiction and technology all in the same thing and it’s called ‘The Salvation Sequence’. It started in 2018, the last book was in 2020 last year by Peter Hamilton. There is ‘Salvation’, ‘Salvation Lost’, ‘The Saints of Salvation’ is the final book. It has a ton of speculation all the ways that technology is going to make our lives better and totally screw us up in the future, but it’s about essentially an alien invasion of earth and what the human race does to do it. It’s as good science fiction as you can get, it’s incredibly enthralling. I finished the second book ‘Salvation Lost’ so I can’t wait to read ‘The Saints of Salvation’. That’s my major guilty pleasure for fiction this summer. All right, that was all of mine, those were my main recommendations. Dennis, what about you? Do we any overlap?
Dennis Kennedy: Unfortunately, no, but maybe fortunately for our listeners there was none. So, one of the things that I’d like to suggest is one of my — I don’t know whether it’s my tricks but it’s one of the things I do is I sometimes just focus on one author or one topic. And so I always recommend that to people. So I’ve sort of read the whole set of works by a number of detective novelists over the last few years. I don’t really have that on my agenda this summer. So what I decided for my list was to basically recommend books that I’ve finished this year already, because I think it’s good to actually recommend things to people rather as well as saying, “here’s some things I’m going to read.” Before I jump into that, there is one that I’m looking forward that will start soon because I’ll be teaching a class on cyber security and data protection in the fall, so I want to learn more about that. And so I have a book called ‘This Is How They Tell Me The World Ends’, and I love the title, but it’s a book about the cyber arms race, so I’ll be reading that.
But like Tom, I divided into a couple categories. And so, two on kind of what I’ll call current events. So one is called the ‘Billion Dollar Whale’ by Tom Wright and it’s this incredible story of corruption and all this sort of sovereign wealth funds and just crazy wild stuff that’s totally entertaining and probably a cautionary tale or two in there for you, and another one called ‘The Data Detective’ By Tim Harford which is a great introduction to how to interpret data and how to understand what it is that you’re being told in news stories and totally worthwhile. On the fiction side, there were just two books that really, I read at the beginning here that really stuck with me, one is called the ‘Parable of The Sower’ and one is called the ‘Parable of The Talents’ by Octavia Butler and just excellent, excellent stuff.
They’re written as a set of memos or letters, but it’s kind of science fiction of the near future which is one of my favorite genres, and Octavia Butler is highly, highly thought of. A couple of biographies, ‘I came As a Shadow’ by Georgetown basketball coach, John Thompson which I was at Georgetown Law School when John Thompson and Patrick Ewing were there, so it was a great book for me, but really insightful book in in many ways. And another one called ‘The Price of Peace’ which is about John Maynard Keynes by a guy named Zachary Carter. Another way of thinking about of the economy, the great depression and how we’re responding to COVID right now. And then three books that if you just want to make you think in completely new different ways, one is called ‘A Pattern Language’ by Christopher Alexander, he’s an architect and this is sort of his summary of how to think about how we build houses and towns. Another one called ‘Technology Revolutions and Financial Capital’ By Carlota Perez, a great way to think about patterns of technology in capital development.
And then probably my favorite book of the year so far is called ‘Four Lost Cities’ by Annalee Newitz, and that’s about four ancient cities that just kind of faded away and no longer exists, and her visits to those and the archaeology around those and her trying to restore the stories of those cities and how they gradually disappeared, and the lessons from those cities that we have now. So that one’s great, ‘Four Lost Cities’ which includes one of the lost cities is Cahokia which was across the river from St. Louis where I lived for quite a few years. So that’s what I have Tom, and that’s that should be a good list for our listeners, and probably a good note to end up on.
Tom Mighell: I think it is. I guess my only tip is obviously our reading tastes aren’t for everybody. If there’s something that you don’t like, I’m still a big fan, I know I haven’t been able to convince Dennis to come join me on Goodreads but I tend to follow reviews and ratings on Goodreads. I follow the wisdom of the crowd and I basically have decided that I don’t read a book unless it’s rated over 4.0 on Goodreads, but I do like the recommendation. So, if you’re looking for a good book, I still think Goodreads is a good place to go. Dennis, any final tips before we get out of here?
Dennis Kennedy: No, I mean, I do recommend that people who support your public library because they’ve been through some tough times and Libby is just one of those services that really show how the libraries are kind of trying to modernize and to reach out to community in really useful ways. So, a lot of people don’t know of this service but I think once you experiment it, i think it’s something you’ll find that you’ll really enjoy.
Tom Mighell: All right, and so before we move on to our next segment, let’s take a quick break for a message from our sponsors.
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Tom Mighell: And now let’s get back to the Kennedy-Mighell Report. I’m Tom Mighell.
Dennis Kennedy: And I’m Dennis Kennedy, and it’s time for our new segment we call Hot or Not. We picked something people are talking about and argue whether we think it is Hot or Not. We might agree but odds are that we won’t and we always want your feedback on this segment. Let’s get started. My wife and I have been watching a lot of British detective shows and I sometimes think that should be a topic for this podcast, but I don’t think Tom will let me do that. Our favorite one lately is called Line of Duty. One thing that we’ve noticed on these shows is that CCTV is everywhere in English TV shows and it’s actually a surprise on the show when something is not captured on CCTV. So, Tom, Hot or Not, universal CCTV coming to the U.S.?
Tom Mighell: What’s amazed me so much is with all of those British detective shows and I’m fan of the British spy shows, but with as much CCTV that there is in Britain, you’d think that there would be less crime and less murders and less international intrigue, but according to all these shows it’s just rampant there. In fact, it’s worse there than it is anywhere else if you believe what the shows are like. So, I’m all over the place on this. I will say for now it is not hot is what I’m going to say. I find it very interesting that Europe which is much more privacy-minded than we are is pretty much all in on video surveillance. I mean, they become that way. Now, I think part of it has to do with prevention of terrorism. They’ve been more of a terrorism target than the United States has been. I think that to a certain extent, CCTV has gone a long way to help prevent terrorist attacks from occurring and I think that they’re willing to have that surveillance if it prevents bombs from going off. I certainly would too if that were I think that would make it more likely here.
We haven’t had what I would consider to be that kind of defining moment that would cause people to all of a sudden be willing, but I will say, let’s think about some examples. Red light cameras, a form of CCTV, a form of surveillance, they’ve not been popular, people don’t pay their tickets, the people who speed don’t like them. Surprise, our ring and other video doorbells have created a whole network of surveillance video, but there’s all kinds of protests when found out that police departments were collecting videos from homeowners. There is some argument that putting surveillance in the hands of millions of Americans is diluting some kind of police oversight. So, people are finding that problematic. When you think about surveillance video and you combine it with facial recognition, that’s been leading to some wrongful arrests not because the technology is bad, because the people using it aren’t following the correct procedure. And I think that that we’re seeing some cities passing laws against facial recognition software which is not really related to surveillance, it’s kind of a side topic, but I think that the two subjects get conflated. You wouldn’t be using facial recognition software unless you already had surveillance footage of me and I don’t want you using that facial recognition software. So I think that makes people also opposed to surveillance.
I think that it has been increasing, it’s going to increase. I tend to think and we were mentioning this before we started recording, you seem to think that it’s going to be right in our faces, the cameras are there, I actually think it’s going to be more insidious and it’s going to be more behind the scenes. There will be cameras coming in that will just show up. We might notice them ultimately but we might not notice when they show up. There’s not going to be an announcement, “Oh by the way, we’re putting cameras all over the place.” I think they’re going to slowly show up and we’re going to become more of a CCTV state, but I don’t think it’s going to be for a while. So I think that we’re a ways off from hot. All right, there’s my piece. Dennis, do you agree or disagree?
Dennis Kennedy: I think it’s going to be very not hot because for a number of reasons, but I think that what’s appealing in the British shows is that there is a sense of deterrence, right? So, if you know that you’re potentially on camera and people can track you and they can track your car around and stuff, then maybe you won’t do bad things or it’s easier to catch people, although as you say it is one of the funny parts of British detective shows especially the shows are set in small towns, the smaller the town the greater the murder rate. So, there is that element. But as you go through the history of CCTV like-activities in the U.S., when you look at those red light cameras, people hated those.
I mean, like they got taken down, and it’s almost like we want to preserve our right to lie about what happened at that traffic light, that the light was really green when we went in there, and it doesn’t matter what the video says. So, I think that in in the U.S., there is that difficulty that we would like to of either we don’t want to see what actually happened or we don’t want anybody else to see or we’re afraid it’s going to be misinterpreted, and almost everywhere where you look people object. We have police who have the body cams and they turn them off or they mysteriously don’t work. You have these other things where there’s supposed to be a camera but they’re not really recording, all of these things and people are concerned about their virtual assistant device listening in on everything they do, but they might have some camera at their door.
I mean, we’re all over the place in the U.S., so I don’t think we’re likely to go to that kind of CCTV where if I leave my apartment and I start walking down the street to the store, somebody can pick up me walking the whole route with the time stamp on it, I don’t think we’re going to get to that point just because of our nature. But it is an interesting thing where the trade-offs — it’s one of those great things about privacy as you said Tom, there’s in Europe you would think it would go the other way than it is in the U.S. and there’s more cameras there in the U.S., you think it might be more okay but I think most people are going to be more and more opposed to that. So, kind of fascinating take on a simple technology and what the reactions of humans and cultures are to those. So now it’s time for our parting shots, that one tip, website or observation you can use the second this podcast ends. Tom, take it away.
Tom Mighell: So I’m going to use my parting shot to give a friendly reminder on how to protect yourself when you have been the victim of some kind of online fraud. At some point in time whether it was the office of personal management or the Equifax hack or another hack that I happen to be involved in, my social security number was stolen and I learned a consequence of that over the past couple of weeks when I discovered that someone had used my social security number to file an unemployment claim on my behalf in the State of Texas to try and collect some unemployment benefits. If you follow the news, you’ll know that fake unemployment claims have been rampant over during the pandemic over this time, so not terribly surprising but I wasn’t entirely sure of all the steps to take. Here are the steps that I took, I think they’re good steps to take.
First of all, you should call the unemployment entity that you have in your state and make a report. There should be a place for you to make a report that someone has used your information in a fraudulent manner. Make that report first. I recommend making a police report even though nothing will come from it, if you ever have to do anything about it, then I think that’s a good idea. I would go to identitytheft.gov and make a report there so they’ve got a record that you made a report of it. I would go to all three credit bureaus and do a credit freeze even if it’s temporary because you might want to use it to get some credit somewhere. I’ve put a credit freeze on all of my credit reports and I’ve gotten a fraud alert from one of them just in case somebody tries to do something.
And then finally, the one thing to do that I recommend is is that somebody may very well try to file a tax return with their unemployment benefits in your name. I went to the IRS and they are now using a personal pin that you can enter when you file your tax return. I don’t believe it works if you file it by paper, so that may not fix that but it will work if you file electronically, they will ask you for that pin before you file it. So, those are the steps that I’ve taken. It’s a lot of steps but I feel relatively comfortable that I’ve protected myself at least right now. I hate that I have to do it but that’s sort of the price of security these days if somebody gets a hold of something as important as your social security number. Dennis.
Dennis Kennedy: Tom, you should turn that checklist into an online app and for people to go through that process. I mean it would be really helpful. So, I have two things, one is very quick. I have the new Apple TV 4k which arrived recently and I thoroughly recommend it especially if you have an older Apple TV or thinking about getting a new one.
I would say that’s the main market if you don’t have a device like that and you’re in the apple world, I think it’s great. The setup was amazingly simple and largely automated. And for those of us who’ve had Apple TVs in the past, the weak link has always been the remote, and I think the new remote has solved many of the issues with the older remotes, so it’s worth it for that. The second one I just want to say really quickly is we talked about virtual reality and law practice in the past episode, and through the Michigan State Center for Law Technology and Innovation we did a virtual reality in law practice webinar that’s now available for replay on the center’s website in a section called video resources, and it’s a half day three-hour presentation with lots of cool speakers and demos and other things about virtual reality in the practice of law. The link will be in the show notes but highly recommended it, it turned out really well.
Tom Mighell: And so that wraps it up for this edition of The Kennedy-Mighell Report. Thanks for joining us on the podcast. You can find show notes for this episode on the Legal Talk Network’s page for the show. If you like what you hear, please subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or on the Legal Talk Network site, where you can find archives of all of our previous shows along with transcripts. If you would like to get in touch with us, remember, you can always reach out to us on LinkedIn or leave us a voicemail. Our voicemail number is (720) 441-6820. So until the next podcast, I am Tom Mighell.
Dennis Kennedy: And I am Dennis Kennedy, and you have been listening to The Kennedy-Mighell Report, a podcast on legal technology with an Internet focus. If you liked what you heard today, please rate us in Apple Podcasts, and we will see you next time for another episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report on the Legal Talk Network.
Outro: Thanks for listening to The Kennedy-Mighell Report. Check out Dennis and Tom’s book, ‘The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together’ from ABA Books or Amazon, and join us every other week for another edition of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, only on the Legal Talk Network.