Essay on surveillance cameras

AI Has Made Video Surveillance Automated and Terrifying
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  1. Surveillance surveillance cameras in public areas essay - SaiGon Truss
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  3. Should surveillance cameras be placed in public places?
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CCTV protection serves to remind the people of their security measures that they would otherwise forget easily. Psychologically, people understand that a place under surveillance may deem insecure if the security did not exist. In such cases, people walking, working, or operating in the protected areas take more measures to protect their property thus the CCTV psychologically prevents crime by influencing the potential victims. The potential criminals can also experience the psychological effect not to commit crime in places, which appear secured Baum, p.

Robbery on moving trains in Brazil deemed so rampant before the trains started using the CCTVs because the criminals felt no pressure in executing the illegal activities towards the passengers. Immediately the CCTVs came to force, the cases disappeared. The criminals understand that any evidence beyond doubt of their activities may lead them to court Harris et el, p. Due to experiences, the criminals also understand that the CCTVs maximally provide any evidence of crime in the areas targeted. Psychologically, the criminals fear executing their activities as the authorities can easily catch them.

CCTVs thus affect the criminals psychologically to stop their activities. The first cause of crime occurs as the fear that the crime will actually occur among the people. Most of the people living in insecure areas believe that they may fall under attack any time and become the next victims of the criminal losses. The CCTVs eradicate the fear among the people in order to deter crime occurrence.

Presence of the surveillance services assures the people that the surveyed areas deem more secure than the areas under no surveillance hence more people access the protected areas compared to the areas with no CCTV Gips, p. When the number of people in a particular place increases, the criminal activities actually decrease, as there are more witnesses in case any crime would occur. More so, targeting particular people when the crowd deems large cannot happen easily thus the CCTV presence only can deter crime. The CCTVs receive unlimited praise for their proven prowess in crime prevention and protection although they do not function to maximum prevention.

Deterring crime using the CCTVs may deem tricky due to several factors. First, the criminals could easily change their target. The cost of making sure that all the avenues for crime seal using surveillance cameras deems too high to undertake. When a particular areas attracts attention as prone too crime, security will likely beef up in the area and the next step likely falls to the CCTVs Devine, p.

Surveillance surveillance cameras in public areas essay - SaiGon Truss

When the criminals observe the cameras from the one look of their installation, they can plan on new targets for their activities thus prove hard to track. The series of change in targets can go on changing for as long as the leadership appears determined to stop the criminals. Whenever the security agents cannot identify the exact place to put a trap for the criminals, catching up with them toughens.

The criminals seem aware of the same fact thus they utilize it to the best that they can.


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Strict observation of the monitors may become tough if the area under surveillance deems larger than expected. Some areas prove hard for the cameras and the observers to monitor and follow up easily. When the area watched over appears big and complicated with many people, confusions and misinterpretation of activities can easily occur thus provide loopholes for occurrence of crime.

A person can hibernate before one camera and go unnoticed because the monitors deem a little many. Misinterpretation of the signals sent from different points can also create loopholes for advanced crimes in the area. Lack of independence in the CCTV system gives a huge loophole to the criminals in case the gang may come when organized. Guthrie infers that most of the criminals understand that the CCTVs function with electric power and that it takes them time to readjust after the lights go off.

Consequently, an organized group of people with criminal intentions can easily undertake criminal activities and go unnoticed if they tamper with the power line first. The transfer of the video signals from the high definition cameras to the monitor screens occurs through signals sent through straight transmissions. Due to advances in technology, the criminals can easily hack into the signals and tamper with them to facilitate their criminal activities Duguid, p.

CCTV helps in monitoring and not the actual eradication of crimes. According to Guha , most of the people wonder about those who commit intentional crimes publicly. Some people know the repercussions of the activities they engage in, especially the criminal activities yet they still go ahead and do them.

The CCTVs provide evidence that the people actually committed the crimes but do not deter them from the same. In fact, the people may get motivation to do more damage because they know that they get into the trap anyway. In this regard, as much as the surveillance creates a feeling of security in a particular area, some crimes go beyond the mere ability of surveillance thus the security agents cannot fall back and resign to the CCTVs.

People can thus commit unique mistakes and crimes and still get away with them because the crimes do not show in the CCTV cameras Wilner, At the face of it, CCTV appears as one of the most effective ways to prevent occurrence of crimes. People with plans to undertake criminal activities cannot go ahead because they can appear on the monitoring screens and face trial. Evidence deems circumstantial and accurate when the CCTVs function in security.

Increasingly, they can detect particular actions by people.

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Amazon's cashier-less stores rely on video analytics to figure out when someone picks an item off a shelf and doesn't put it back. More than identifying actions, video analytics allow computers to understand what's going on in a video: They can flag people based on their clothing or behavior, identify people's emotions through body language and behavior, and find people who are acting "unusual" based on everyone else around them.

Those same Amazon in-store cameras can analyze customer sentiment. Other systems can describe what's happening in a video scene. Computers can also identify people. AIs are getting better at identifying people in those videos. Facial recognition technology is improving all the time, made easier by the enormous stockpile of tagged photographs we give to Facebook and other social media sites, and the photos governments collect in the process of issuing ID cards and drivers licenses.

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The technology already exists to automatically identify everyone a camera "sees" in real time. Even without video identification, we can be identified by the unique information continuously broadcasted by the smartphones we carry with us everywhere, or by our laptops or Bluetooth-connected devices. Police have been tracking phones for years, and this practice can now be combined with video analytics.

Once a monitoring system identifies people, their data can be combined with other data, either collected or purchased: from cell phone records, GPS surveillance history, purchasing data, and so on. Social media companies like Facebook have spent years learning about our personalities and beliefs by what we post, comment on, and "like.

Should surveillance cameras be placed in public places?

Camera resolution is also improving. Gigapixel cameras as so good that they can capture individual faces and identify license places in photos taken miles away. On the ground, cameras can be hidden in street lights and other regular objects. In space, satellite cameras have also dramatically improved. Data storage has become incredibly cheap, and cloud storage makes it all so easy. Video data can easily be saved for years, allowing computers to conduct all of this surveillance backwards in time. In democratic countries, such surveillance is marketed as crime prevention—or counterterrorism.

In countries like China, it is blatantly used to suppress political activity and for social control. In all instances, it's being implemented without a lot of public debate by law-enforcement agencies and by corporations in public spaces they control. This is bad, because ubiquitous surveillance will drastically change our relationship to society. We've never lived in this sort of world, even those of us who have lived through previous totalitarian regimes. The effects will be felt in many different areas.

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False positives—when the surveillance system gets it wrong—will lead to harassment and worse. Discrimination will become automated. Those who fall outside norms will be marginalized.

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And most importantly, the inability to live anonymously will have an enormous chilling effect on speech and behavior, which in turn will hobble society's ability to experiment and change. A recent ACLU report discusses these harms in more depth.


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While it's possible that some of this surveillance is worth the trade-offs, we as society need to deliberately and intelligently make decisions about it. Some jurisdictions are starting to notice. Last month, San Francisco became the first city to ban facial recognition technology by police and other government agencies.