> The idea that anything done in public is explicitly public actually seems like a good idea to me.
I respectfully disagree. This assumes good faith on the part of the watchmen.
If everything that you buy, every building that you enter, every conversation you have with friends while out over coffee, is permanently a part of the public record ... any group with a vested interest in social control has that much more ammunition against you.
To name two quick examples:
Fundamentalist religions would gain complete surveillance over their members' public lives. Any group seeking to enforce behavior restrictions on its members could have essentially cultlike control. I don't see any reasonable method of solving this social problem before the technological one overtakes us.
I don't know much about Brin's Transparent Society, but I have a hard time seeing how equiveillance
would prevent state surveillance abuses. You can't decide what data the authorities gather about you, and if they set you up for a campaign of harassment, the fact that you can add context to your innocence doesn't stop them from grinding you through the wheels of bureaucracy.
And let's not even get into stalkers.