Opposing arguments against the use of security camera video surveillance

Opposing arguments against the use of security camera video surveillance

As the use of surveillance cameras increases in the United States and around the world, so does the debate about their numbers and motives. There are many arguments for CCTV, including peace of mind, loss prevention, crime deterrence and crime detection, but what about the other side of the story? Thousands of individuals and groups oppose video surveillance, and many of them have very valid points. What are the consequences of allowing Big Brother access to all of our public life? Will this eventually lead to an invasion of our private events? When does it become too much? The ACLU has an entire website, You Are Being Watched, dedicated to “the high cost of camera surveillance systems, both in terms of money and civil liberties,” and that’s just one example of a group taking action.

So what are some of the main arguments against using video surveillance systems? Let’s see…

Violation of personal space – This is the most common argument against surveillance systems. No one likes the idea of ​​being watched, yet we’re starting to see security cameras on many more street corners and light poles. Cities usually justify these additions by saying they monitor and prevent crime, which is valid, but many people, innocent and innocent alike, would prefer the cameras were gone. While video surveillance is more commonly accepted in public areas, this sentiment comes into play even more with the use of covert and hidden cameras in private areas. Laws impose restrictions in this area for now, but the main concern is the future of citizens’ privacy.

Mistrust – Using security cameras in your home or business can make its occupants feel distrustful. If your family members or employees are under constant surveillance, hostility and animosity are likely to be in the air. The feeling that your every move is being watched and recorded is not only creepy, but downright terrifying. Even the most trusted employees can become paranoid and nervous when a camera is pointed at their cubicle all day. No more napping, checking Facebook, texting or drawing, you’re being watched!

Effectiveness not proven – Studies conducted in California and London found that security cameras had little or no effect on reducing crime rates. With the sheer number of cameras increasing in many major cities, many replacing human security guards, this is a strong argument that will be the primary target of many opposing groups. I think we can all agree that there is no substitute for a thinking, acting, problem-solving human police officer or security guard, and if we start relying on cameras as a pure deterrent, how do we plan to stop crime while it’s happening?

Abuse and misuse – Footage captured by CCTV cameras becomes susceptible to misuse and abuse by those who have access to it. For example, footage can be used to discriminate against people and for voyeurism. In the age of the Internet, this is another huge deal, as can be seen from all the “funny” YouTube videos out there. I doubt the subjects would find most of them funny. This is obviously related to the issue of invasion of privacy and is one of the main concerns of activists. All it takes is one “funny boy” bodyguard to post footage or still images of an individual doing something embarrassing or inappropriate and reputations are ruined, privacy is obliterated and those who who oppose CCTV will have more ammunition.

All of these reasons are valid arguments against video surveillance. There are many cities and countries that have massive surveillance systems and we will likely see a large increase in public surveillance in the near future, so the more the public knows about the industry and their rights etc, the more everyone can prepare for when it happens in your little corner of the globe.

Do you have additional arguments against using security camera systems? What do you think? Will you fight them or open your “public” life willingly to observation? Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts and opinions.

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