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News - 6 November 2009
CCTV: a good overview of the privacy debate
So, is CCTV good for us - or only for the folks who make and sell the kit? Academic research suggests that the threat that CCTV represents to our civil liberties outweighs the modest benefits it delivers in reducing crime. But is that too academic? Here's a good overview of the current debate...
Writing in InfoSecurity Magazine, Kari Larsen says:
"You will be captured on camera several times a day. There will be CCTV cameras near your home, on the public transport you use, and likely at your place of work. If these systems were linked up, someone could monitor your every move. Is this reassuring, or is it an intrusion of privacy and downright scary?
There does not seem to be an exact figure on how many CCTV cameras are in operation in Britain. The BBC has reported that there are around 4.2 million, or one for every 14 inhabitants, whilst consultancy company IMS Research reckons that the figure is closer to 3.2 million.
In connection with the release of the report on the Surveillance Society by the Surveillance Studies Network in 2006, co-author Dr David Murakami-Wood told the BBC that the UK is the most surveilled of industrialised Western states: “We have more CCTV cameras and we have looser laws on privacy and data protection.”
So what are the rules and who enforces them? Read Larsen's article in InfoSecurity Magazine here
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