I used to get livid. I mean break shit mad when reading report after report exposing the amount of data ‘Big Brother’ collects on us.
I don’t just mean the Patriot Act, which is destined to live on, because once you get the power, you never give it up.
No. I mean all of it. Google street view (and its ability to hack into pretty much anyone’s wifi as they roll by), ISPs forced to store all your emails, traffic cameras popping up on every corner. And now, even the police are being equipped with their own permanently-on body cams.
It used to piss me off. Then it occurred to me. Some companies are making an absolute killing supplying those devices that serve the “greater good”.
Take Great Britain, for example. Privacy-wise, the opposite of a confessional.
A few years ago, the Brits made major headlines when a study estimated that the nation had roughly 4.9 million closed circuit surveillance cameras pointed at Oliver Twist as he gorges on spotted dick.
4.9 million cameras means that there is one surveillance camera for roughly every 14 people in Great Britain.
And that news broke in 2011. Things have only spiraled further out of control since then.
While you could have (and still can) land a killing on CCTV makers like Honeywell (NYSE: HON) and software companies that analyze the footage like NICE Systems (NASDAQ: NICE), early entry is where you’re biggest profits can be found.
Enter TASER International (NASDAQ: TASR).
You know TASER. They make those portable electrocution machines that police readily use instead of firearms… sometimes… at least they should.
Now, the company is expanding its horizon and jumping on board the surveillance bandwagon, equipping London’s police force with more than 30,000 personal video cameras.
News on that deal alone pushed the stock north by about 6%. The stock also picked up some momentum after it was announced that D.C. is looking to expand their camera program from 200 units to 3,000 units.
Truth is, as much as I hate being spied on, I actually like the idea of these body cameras. Not only will these things help me make a boatload of cash, but they’ll also keep some of these out-of-control cops in check. And that’s a good thing!