Photos of random strangers have never been "my art". People are not my strength, photographic or otherwise. As an introvert with a poor memory for faces there's not really much I can do to change that situation, so I'm hardly giving up anything critical by saying this. But the decision that I made years ago – to not feature a recognizable person whose name I don't know – seems better and better as time goes on.

The recent news that an American company has compiled a massive database for facial recognition, or that they are marketing it to law enforcement, isn't a surprise. The faults with facial recognition, especially when applied to communities that are already over-policed and disproportionately surveilled, are similarly well known for anyone who's interested in the subject. To think that easily-offended governments with extensive technology and the proven ability to hold a grudge aren't also scraping public photos isn't paranoia – it's barely even conjecture. And where dystopian repressive government go, we can be fairly sure that social media giants and marketing innovators are nearby.

I don't intend to flatter myself to think that my photos attract an audience, but automation and algorithms can cover a lot of ground. And those two or three people who I haven't photographed are likely to walk past a dozen other cameras that day, especially if they're at a protest or otherwise doing something that attracts the attention of authority. But that's a societal problem, and all I can do is not add to it individually.