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When Eyes in the Sky Start Looking Right at You

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A rendering of the satellite that Albedo Space is currently developing.

The visual power of a space camera is usually expressed as the length, in meters, of the smallest feature it can resolve. The figure for early cameras was meters. Now it’s centimeters.

Credit: The New York Times

Satellites like those made by Colorado startup Albedo Space are heightening privacy concerns.

Albedo aims to image objects as small as 10 centimeters (four inches) with its low-orbiting satellites.

“This is a giant camera in the sky for any government to use at any time without our knowledge,” said Jennifer Lynch, general counsel of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who in 2019 urged civil satellite regulators to address this issue.

Supporters of Albedo’s technology say real benefits must be weighed, especially when it comes to fighting disasters and saving lives.

From The New York Times
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