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The dramatic advances in satellite imaging technology in the last 10 years have privacy advocates worried about 24-hour surveillance. Right now, US federal regulations help keep things in check, so that while commercial satellite imagery is powerful enough, for instance, to see a car, it's not detailed enough to identify the make and model, according to a report from the MIT Technology Review. 

Satellite companies say they keep a person's data separate from any identifying characteristics, but Peter Martinez of the Secure World Foundation said that doesn't matter.

"The risks arise not only from the satellite images themselves but the fusion of Earth observation data with other sources of data," Martinez said in an email.

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Category: Science