New Satellite Can Zoom In On Any Person Anywhere On The Planet

Privacy experts are raising concerns about a forthcoming satellite, slated to launch in 2025, which they fear could enable pervasive surveillance.

Developed by startup company Albedo, the satellite boasts high-resolution imaging capabilities that can capture detailed views of people and even license plates from space. This advanced technology has sparked worries among experts about the potential for intrusive surveillance reminiscent of a “big brother is always watching” scenario.

Albedo asserts that its satellite will not incorporate facial recognition software. However, critics note that the company has not explicitly addressed whether it will refrain from capturing images of individuals or safeguarding privacy.

The startup has secured lucrative contracts with the U.S. Air Force and the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, valued at millions of dollars each, to assist in monitoring potential threats to national security. Albedo recently completed a $35 million funding round to support the commercialization of its Very Low Earth Orbit (VLEO) satellite, adding to the $48 million raised in September 2022.

Topher Haddad, co-founder of Albedo, envisions building a fleet of 24 spacecraft in the future.

“This is a giant camera in the sky for any government to use at any time without our knowledge,” warned Jennifer Lynch, general counsel of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, in an interview with The New York Times. “We should definitely be worried.”