Is CCTV Installation A Double-Edged Knife?

The activities of daily living are increasing at a faster pace, so is the crime rate.  Whether it is a public place such as a supermarket, theater or a public street, the rate of crime reported is certainly on the rise.  Even the private apartments and societies are also experiencing more intruders than earlier days. No doubt, not only in such a scenario but to keep an eye on molestation or child abuse, CCTV installation would come as a handy gadget.  But the point to ponder over is whether there are sufficient regulations to monitor such a ubiquitous advanced technology.

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Let’s analyze the pros and cons of the modern-day monitoring system. 

Works as A Deterrent 

No doubt, once someone is aware that he is being monitored, the crime rate is likely coming to down for the fear of getting noticed and punished.  

Facilitates Investigation 

In case of any crime or social unrest and accidents, the investigating agency would be facilitated to produce CCTV footage of the crime.  Though this is not the conclusive evidence for punishment, the delinquent could be shortlisted for further investigation.  

Traffic Violations 

The public safety on the road could be ensured with the CCTV installation since certain traffic violations could be recorded whether the police personnel are around or not.  

Public Safety 

Public, especially women and children can feel safer when they are conscious that surveillance cameras have been installed which record the activities of a mugger or a questionable character.

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Infringement of Privacy 

The CCTV installation by state authorities in public places has many benefits, but by placing the cameras in private establishments, individuals can be detrimental if the intentions of the owner are good.  We are not sure about the focusing point of the camera while recording is on. 

Outwitting the Cameras 

The culprit is aware of the limitations of the cameras and might mask his face so that the identity is not recognized even while gleaning the evidence of video recording. 

Non-Functional Cameras / Poor Recording 

It is also essential for the enforcement authorities to ensure that the cameras installed on the public roads are maintained properly to ensure that they are in working condition.  Many times, it is noticed that the footage is blurry, or the cameras are not working efficiently to record the incident.  Since night vision cameras are not common, poor recording is experienced sometimes, which defeat the purpose of the device. 

Neighborhood Privacy

In the guise of protecting the safety, rights, the neighbor may install a camera and sent the focus to the vulnerable and privacy areas in order to take undue advantage of the advanced technology.

The technology of CCTV installation has become a peeping tom in some of the public places. With the advent of miniature cameras, it is very easily installed in the toilets, trial rooms or even hotel rooms.

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Cost-Benefit Analysis

The surveillance cameras of minimum features are very affordable even for an individual to take care of the safety and security.  However, if you need some additional features for long-term recording, some more additional amount is required.   The IP cameras, which have the advantage of viewing on-real time basis from anywhere, do not cost a substantial amount if the requirement and the advantage of a gadget are kept in view.  

Regulations 

Though there are guidelines that need to be followed while installing such cameras and strict stipulations, ensuring the privacy of an individual are not being complied with and therefore some unfair practices are being observed.  This practice is seen as a harassment and infringement of individual privacy.  It is an ideal move that the CCTV installation has been made mandatory in all the educational institutions. In addition, it is also essential for the hostels to be brought under the coverage of surveillance cameras so that the anti-social activities could be reduced.