Do you care about surveillance cameras? Or the fact that you’re probably being watched and or monitored whenever you’re in public?
A lot of people care about this very much. A former co-worker from Halifax once created a blog especially to discuss CCTV cameras he hated them so much.
The other day on one of my posts, Brett went off on a rant Big Brother watching us all the time. It had nothing really to do with the post topic, but I guess he was responding to another comment. Brett’s not a fan of heightened airport and border security or surveillance cameras.
Those who are against these excessive security measures say they are a threat to our personal freedoms. That everything we do, every place we go, every person we meet, all of our daily activities, every move we make, can be monitored. This includes our internet usuage, all our electronic communication devices, credit cards – even our cars are traceable and watchable now. The main issue with all of this is, there is no telling where this information is going to end up or how it’s going to be used or by whom.
Then there are many people who have no problem with this. They say freedom of privacy is a redundant concept. That if we want the protections of law enforcement against criminals and terrorists then we have to accept being watched. They figure if you’re out in public or using public systems like the internet then it’s fair game. Don’t do things in public you don’t want people to know about and don’t put information out there you want kept private.
There are arguments that these CCTV cameras and other surveillance devices don’t do anything to prevent crime – that they only move criminals to other areas that aren’t being monitored. Have all the additional security measures at airports stopped any terrorists? Who knows. I haven’t really heard about anyone they stopped who’d been planning to blow up a plane. But maybe they just haven’t told us about it. Then again maybe with all the security measures in place at airports, terrorists are thinking up other, less secured ways to attack.
From all reports – especially from the UK – CCTVs are helping police to catch many more criminals…. but that’s after a crime has been committed.
Britain is the world leader in CCTV usage with an estimated 4 million cameras around the country. They are also world leaders in building a DNA database with almost 9% of the population already logged. The US FBI database has over 6.7 million profiles and expects to accelerate its growth rate from 80,000 new entries a year to 1.2 million new entries annually by 2012. Canada has logged about 208,000 DNA profiles as of 2009 with its new $10 million database which is said to be the most automated and sophisticated of its kind, located at RCMP headquarters in Ottawa.
It should be noted that, while there is fledgling legislation in place regulating from whom and how DNA samples can be collected, not all of the DNA samples in these databases are from criminals and there have been issues on how these samples are being retained.
So, are you concerned about any of this? Do you care if there’s CCTV camera pointed at your house? Or if the police have a sample of your DNA? Or if you’re watched as you do your grocery shopping or as you meet your secret lover at the Stay-A-While Motel?