After a while I began to have an uneasy feeling of being observed. I am very sensitive to observation, and often have this feeling not only in the presence of human beings but in that of small animals.
Once I even traced the source of it to a large spider whose mysterious eyes were fixed upon me. In my experience the spider is the smallest creature whose gaze can be felt.
During the past 15 years, video cameras have been placed in a vast number of public and private spaces. In the future, the software operating the cameras will not only be able to identify particular humans via facial recognition, experts say, but also identify certain types of behavior, perhaps even automatically alerting authorities.
The core technology of the Third Wall, again pioneered but only partially implemented by the Second, is Automated Number Plate Recognition, or ANPR. When the Wall was initially constructed, the public were informed that this data would only be held, and regularly purged, by Transport for London, who oversee traffic matters in the city. However, within less than five years, the Home Secretary gave the Metropolitan Police full access to this system, which allowed them to take a complete copy of the data produced by the system.
This permission to access the data was granted to the Police on the sole condition that they only used it when National Security was under threat. But since the data was now in their possession, the Police reclassified it as "Crime" data and now use it for general policing matters, despite the wording of the original permission. As this data is not considered to be "personal data" within the definition of the law, the Police are under no obligation to destroy it, and may retain their ongoing record of all vehicle movements within the city for as long as they desire.
The Fourth London Wall will be made of transponders carried in the vehicles themselves. One of the defining characteristics of the Wall is that it is not, and cannot be, voluntary. Each successive Wall is only erected when the relevant technologies and social systems have arisen that no longer depend on consent.
London's citizens will dream, and the images of their dreams will dance on the telescreens of Piccadilly Circus, and be found wanting.