Apple co-founder Steve “Woz” Wozniak told CNBC today that the problems of racism and discrimination cannot be solved by technology.
“There’s a limitation as to what tech can do. Tech is tools that humans use to get what they want and need, so it’s really humans in control,” Wozniak said. “The communication abilities of our modern devices helps us get some truth, but not very much,” Wozniak added.
“In many cases,” Wozniak said, “when police are overusing force, relevant body cam footage, security cam footage is there, but they’re under control of the police, so we don’t get to see them. I think that it’s like a business, the police work for us. We pay the police. We should have access to those videos very quickly.”
To be sure, Wozniak said technology plays a role in the process of addressing inequities by allowing people to access “facts and truth,” such as body cameras worn by police officers and cellphone footage from bystanders.
Wozniak said, “You need real action to change things,” he said, comparing it to the process of innovation. “Even if you’re making a new product… you might have 1,000 people around the world talking about an idea, and the one that actually makes it deserves the real credit for moving us forward.”
MacDailyNews Take: Woz is right. In America, everyone in government — from the police to mayors and governors to congresspeople, senators, and supreme court justices on up to the vice president and president — works for us (or, at least, they’re supposed to); government, as Abraham Lincoln said, “of the people, by the people, for the people.” A lot of people inside and outside U.S. local and federal government too often seem to forget that simple fact.
The tech can keep people honest and make them think twice, before they overstep. That’s why Woz is right to say we should have access to the body cam footage for which we are paying.
Check out this U.S. map which shows how access to police body-worn camera video varies from state to state and even among various locales within certain states.