There has been much debate as to whether public surveillance or the existence of cameras in public places is an invasion of privacy. A few have made reference to the fourth amendment and its protection against unreasonable searches as a key element to discourage such practice. Nevertheless a tsunami of public cameras has flooded out neighborhoods, primarily used as a means of enhanced security especially in areas where police officers are not able to be present. In a recent article posted on cbsnews.com titled "Surveillance cameras and the right to privacy", law enforcement officials assert that an increase in high-tech tools such as cameras was a big reason why violent crimes nationwide decreased in 2010. Citizens should demand their rights to privacy! This is a claim that, like me, many others concur. However should we sacrifice our need for safety and security simply to avoid being featured on public camera casually walking down the block?
Security camera in public places are an invasion of privacy, feeling that your every move is being watched is not a good feeling. People should be free to travel or move a mall, street or a shop without being photograph or recorded. Being constantly watched is like being in jail and ordinary people are losing their freedom because of those security cameras. Another point to consider is, although law enforcement agencies claimed that only criminals should fear security cameras, one must keep in mind that some people have a fear of corrupt authorities who can use information obtain from security camera, in a twisted fashion to victimize others. Although, security cameras in high profile public places are a must, but the need to flood public places with cameras is not such a great idea, as it would cause more problems then it would solve.
Security cameras in public spaces does not impede on the privacy of individuals. Besides, being in public already puts you on display for all to see. Hundreds of criminals have been caught as a result of a camera being placed in an elevator, at the street corner or even on university campus ground. This generation referred to as the social media generation, are constantly at the forth front of posting and sharing information for public display. Writer Sarah Leonard explains how individuals are constantly addicted to the sharing of information that she regards as being too private for display on social media. Shedding light upon the social media frenzy, Leonard stated, "While government lawyers have wracked their brains for justification to comb through our personal lives, the things we offer up voluntarily are more intimate still". Millions on new users are added to the face book family every week. Facebook and other social media has become the hub where every individual is a director of their reality series. A place where every activity is systematically reported, while others who want to remain informed can simply do so by the click of a mouse. Many no longer wait to be asked how the day went, but instead feel a constant need to divulge any information, even the information that qualify for the "no need to disclose" list. There is no doubt that every individual should be entitled to his or her own privacy, however, we should not allow our disapproval for public surveillance to overshadow efforts being made to maintain the security of the American people.
It is one"s right to walk around public places without worrying that a security camera is recording you. On the subject that security camera deter crime ...well, the millions or so cameras in public places has not stopped crimes. Advocates for security camera argued that criminals are less likely to commit crimes if they know that they are being watched. Well not true, criminals will move to another area where there"s no camera to commit crimes. Ordinary, law abiding citizens are being filmed every second without their consent. People should not have their every move recorded when all they want to do, is go a mall or walk the street.
Up until last year I worked the evening shift and left work at times just after midnight. With all the crime we hear about on the news, most nights I could not help but hope that I make it home safe. Walking home in the middle of the night I would always feel a sense of relief staring straight into the camera placed in plain sight at the front of one of the apartment buildings. I always thought to myself, "If anything were to happen to me before I got home that night I am happy to know that at this particular time, this camera would show that I left work and was in route to my house". While I am aware that this camera would not prevent anyone from harming me those scary nights, it gave me a sense of security that if anything were to happen somehow authorities would have a better chance of figuring out what happened. Like me, many individuals do feel safe having public cameras around. In many instances where a crime is committed victims or family members of victims find closure or is grateful that the crime being committed was caught on tape which in turn could save many other individuals from the criminals. How many times have you heard anyone claim that their lives were ruined because they were caught on public camera shopping down the block or walking the dog in the middle of the night? Furthermore, we are not talking about unlawful or secretly placing cameras in private places but rather we are talking about public spaces were everyone knows and are aware that the camera exist.
The growing use of security camera in today"s society has lead to several privacy issues being raised. Nowadays, security cameras are found everywhere. It has affected people"s life style one way or another. Security camera can evoke negative emotions in people, make them feel like they are being constantly watched and controlled. Although, they are meant to help protect people from crime, there several issues concerning privacy, Thus 23% of people living in the U.S , believed that security cameras violated their right to privacy. As we know, technology has the potential for bad along with the good, total ban of security camera in public places is not a realistic option in today"s society. However, with adequate regulations, some of the consequences can be reduced.