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Are Security Cameras an Invasion of Privacy?

Security cameras are the ones that are used to reduce the level or rate of crime. It is an element that prevents criminal activities, including theft and robbery. Security cameras are mostly used in local and general places like streets, buildings, schools, colleges, universities, offices, shopping plazas, and many other public areas. The security cameras are considered effective in recording all the activities that are occurring in the place where these are installed.

The government and criminal justice system of the countries are the major authorities that are responsible for the installation of security cameras. However, local authorities and administrative systems of societies are also the ones that consider this fact and install security cameras to reduce crimes in society. Some people consider that security cameras are an invasion of privacy, but opponents suggest several reasons and better arguments that present the fact that these are not an invasion of privacy and are effective in reducing criminal activities.

The use of security cameras for the purpose of security is called surveillance. These are used mainly to protect societies from crimes and as an investigative tool. The results of a study show that among 251 crimes investigated, more than 190 crimes are the ones that are recorded from 2011 to 2015 in the railway system of the British Transport Police. In 45 percent of cases, more than 29 percent were the ones that were sorted out due to the installation of security cameras (Ashby 441-459). Moreover, the study suggested that there is a strong relationship between increasing the number of security cameras with the decrease in the rate of criminal activities.

The study recommended that security cameras are a powerful tool for the investigations of crimes (Ashby 441-459). Additionally, in public areas such as shopping plazas, security cameras are playing an important role and decreasing the rate of crime occurrences (Dutta). In the modern technological world, security cameras are able to record video, voice, and sound. Due to these cameras, the universities, colleges, and high school violence could be prevented and spotted. At the workplace, these cameras are helpful to spot violence, cases of harassment, bullying, and abuse. By the use of these cameras, employers could judge the workplace environment and find out the people who are creating trouble for the other employees. With the proof of video recording, several types of crimes are spotted and prevented (Dutta). Prevention occurs when people know about the availability of cameras, so they always try to behave in a particular manner.

Security cameras are efficient and valuable to track down the terrorists behind any terrorist attacks. Due to these facts, people are more comfortable with the presence of security cameras in public places so that their security can be ensured. “Now that big cities are using security cameras to collect data as well as images, privacy watchdog groups are beginning to question just how necessary a lot of this public surveillance is (“Are Security Cameras an Invasion of Privacy? | Protect America”). The answer is simple, yes, these are necessary to protect society and ensure a peaceful environment. When it comes to the matter of privacy, the cameras are not there to interrupt the privacy of people but to ensure that people are safe and to record uncertain events. The safety of public and private institutions, universities, colleges, shopping plazas, malls, restaurants, and other public places is more important than considering the fact that security cameras are an invasion of privacy. In public places, security cameras are significant because they prevent the criminal behavior of people. When certain street criminals are aware of the fact that their activities will be recorded on the camera, they mostly do not perform their criminal activities.

In 2013, the Boston Marathon Bombing attacks and in 2008 Mumbai, India attacks are the ones in which the security cameras significantly added positive value. The cameras were installed at the places and recorded all the necessary information. The most important benefit of the incidents was that the cameras captured the pictures of attackers. Similarly, the presence of security cameras is helpful in detecting crime and plays a positive role in criminal procedures. The opponents of the security cameras argue that these cameras are an unethical measure towards the privacy of people. These opponents link their arguments with human rights and present their concept that the presence of security cameras is a threat to the privacy of humans. The security cameras always constantly monitor the place, which disturbs the people who are present in the place. The critics argue that the installation of a security camera in every public place will lead to some disadvantages such as it is against the civil liberties of people (Pradhan). By considering this factor, public places are surely created for the ease of the public, but the people who feel uncomfortable in front of the camera should consider the fact that these cameras are saving them from trouble.

What if the cameras are not present, some people will surely complain that they are convicted of a crime due to the negligence of the criminal justice system or the government system. National and societal security is more important than the security of an individual, and it is completely inappropriate that security cameras are uninstalled only to secure the privacy of people and their civil rights. People should be the ones who acknowledge the importance of security cameras and how these are helpful in reducing crimes and effective in investigating crimes.

Opponents argue that not only the privacy of an individual will compromised in the presence of security cameras, also it will also lead to mental trouble of the people. When people realize the factor that security cameras are consistently monitoring them, and they’re each measure, it could harm their intellectual privacy (Pradhan). Simply the people will consider that they are in a constant environment of monitoring and will not be able to work properly. This thought is similar to the fact that people will be uncomfortable when they consider that someone is consistently watching them. In favor of this concept, the arguments are quite correct. But it does not mean that the security cameras are an invasion of privacy. Security cameras are mostly installed in public places to reduce the crime rate. The public places are the ones that are always open to the general public and provide them space to generate their social connections.

The presence of security cameras could disturb some people but not all because many people always favor the installation of security cameras in the public places. The people who do not feel comfortable should be trained in a manner that they will recognize the importance of security cameras over the concept of their privacy. It will lead to an increment in their satisfaction level and reduce the threat of being monitored all the time.

Some people consider that security cameras are an invasion of privacy, but opponents suggest several reasons and better arguments that present the fact that these are not an invasion of privacy and are effective to reduce criminal activities. It is due to the most important fact that national security is always greater than the privacy rights of an individual. If the security cameras are a threat to the privacy rights of the people, then government authorities should conduct proper training for the awareness of the general public so that they will realize the significance of security cameras. The people are scared mostly due to the concept that the government is judging each and every movement, and it will have their private information as well (Spillmann, pg. 24). In this way, the government authorities should ensure the safety of the people’s privacy.

Works Cited

“Are Security Cameras An Invasion Of Privacy? | Protect America.” Home and Life Blog. N.p., 2017. Web. 21 Mar. 2018.

Ashby, Matthew P. J. “The Value Of CCTV Surveillance Cameras As An Investigative Tool: An Empirical Analysis.” European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research 23.3 (2017): 441-459. Web.

Dutta, Pullab. “What Are The Benefits Of Surveillance Cameras? | Techwalla.Com.” Techwalla. N.p., 2018. Web. 21 Mar. 2018.

Pradhan, Sucheta. “Are Security Cameras An Invasion Of Privacy? Read Before Judging.” Buzzle. N.p., 2016. Web. 21 Mar. 2018.

Spillmann, Kurt R. Setting The 21St Century Security Agenda. Bern [u.a.]: Lang, 2003. Print.



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