Is Big Brother Watching You?

According to Wikopedia, Big Brother is a fictional character in George Orwell‘s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

In that novel, people were afraid that the ruling party (or government) would know everything about you and would would be watching you. Well that fear has come to reality but it isn’t the government that is watching us, it is everybody around us.

Almost everyone who had a cell phone has a camera in it, that can take pictures and movies. These pictures or  movies can be posted to Web 2.0 sites like Facebook, or Youtube and be very embarrassing.  Lately this  has become very visible in the media as well.

Transit Workers caught napping

In an earlier blog post, I wrote about a transit ticket workers were caught sleeping on the job by riders with cell phones.  The transit workers feel that they are working under a microscope. But that is the new reality, not only for the transit workers but for everyone facing the public. The public was outraged due to fare increases and service disruptions. Customer Satisfaction with transit took a turn for the worse. The pictures were viral.

Local Politician caught using Handicap Parking

Carrie Liddy Photo

Recently the Toronto Star published an article about a local politician north of Toronto who was caught by a local shopper  unlawfully using a handicapped parking  spot. At first, when approached by a journalist about the allegation, he denied it but when presented with a  picture, his comment was that he must not have noticed the handicap sign on the pavement.

The picture of the car and the handicap signage placement on the pavement made that highly suspect. Furthermore the picture taker, pointed out that there were many other spots available in the parking lot nearby. The politician was ‘in a big hurry’ as he rushed to his car.  This kind of behavior can damage the taxpayer  satisfaction towards their local politicians.


Every organization needs to be concerned about these new realities. Employees and management alike cannot assume that they have a public face while on the job and a private life while off the job. Privacy has been compromised by big brothers and big sisters with cell phone cameras.

It doesn’t matter who you are, if you are out in the public, your activities can be captured by anyone with a cell phone. Customer satisfaction with companies will be measured by anything employees and managers are found to be doing, business related or otherwise.

What is your opinion?


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Adele Berenstein

Adele Berenstein is an Experienced Customer Satisfaction Executive, recently retired from a Large Global IT Organization after a long productive management career including Sales, Marketing, Services, teaching and education center management and most recently, 19 years in customer satisfaction management. She turned around divisions with customer satisfaction problems, implemented measurable improvements and management systems, and implemented programs to prevent problems from ever affecting customers.

One Response to “Customer Satisfaction meets the Cell Phone Camera”

  1. Frank Brinkman Says:

    Adele, It is the last paragraph that tells it all. It does not matter whether you are a business or a private individual. If you are in an area visible to the public, and you are doing something of interest, you can be a subject of a camera. In a way it is worse than 1984 and “Big Brother” watching. Anyone with a camera is “Big Brother.”

    Yet, if you are doing something heroic you may have just found your 15 minutes of fame whether intended or unintended. Also, if you are just doing normal activities there is little to fear other than the loss of anonymity.

    The phone camera and the ability to send it to someone has been used to communicate images of war, of unrest, of rebellion. It is one of the most feared by countries having oppressive human environments.

    Camera phones are a great benefit and great burden for customer satisfaction and society’s improvement.

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