Surveillance of public space: CCTV and audio record systems

“Cameras often broadcast footage over the Internet, allowing operators to monitor security camera feeds remotely. In some cases, surveillance systems are paid for and operated by the cities themselves. But in other cases, residents and businesses share surveillance camera footage with police officers”. Electronic Frontier Foundation

About: CCTV, also known as closed-circuit television, is a monitoring system that enables public bodies and private companies to always keep a watchful eye on us (some of them can have an “ear” too) . CCTV security systems contain monitors and cameras that allow you to view live events, as well as recording that archive footage for later use.

How does it work? A live camera is picking up on several images and audio that are later transmitted by cable or wirelessly as a signal to a screen. At the CCTV centre there may      be recording and display devices that store all data observed by cameras.

What’s wrong with it? Besides the clear privacy concerns, one of the strongest criticisms of CCTV cameras is that they have not been proven effective, one of the main reasons for cameras to be deployed is to reduce petty crime. But CCTV’s effectiveness at doing this has not yet been demonstrated. Most of all though, with CCTV technology there is less freedom. When citizens are being watched by the authorities they are more self-conscious and less free.

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