Everyone has a [private] monitor

So, as it seems, the new "big thing" is consider "everyone as a monitor" as attested by this article in the Economist. Some people now claims that "The sheer ubiquity of mobile phones amounts to “the biggest leap in history, bigger than the printing press, which, after all, stayed in the hands of very few people,” (Katrin Verclas from MobileActive.org). Although I am not sure about this, it does not dismiss the whole issue. The article interestingly addresses the different modalities of such a "monitoring" feature: be it explicit (people take pictures, shoot videos, send messages, etc.) OR automatic. As they say in the E, "this is now on the horizon" for the good (participatory urbanism for instance) or the bad ("a coming surveillance state"). Funny enough, this article appeared in my RSS feed reader right next to this other one by Bruce Schneier on Wired which basically states that "What happens to our data happens to ourselves / Who controls our data controls our lives". Why do I blog this? quick references for later. It's again the tension between explicit versus automatic sharing of personal information, a topic I am interested in.