Surveillance Technology

When are surveillance cameras too intrusive?


Are you ever at the mall or on a busy street and feel like you are being watched? There is a good chance your are being watched. Not by the person behind you or next to you, but the camera on the wall across from you. America has over 30 million surveillance cameras all over the country. They are everywhere: in stores, on highways, and on busy streets. Have you every thought about why there are there so many cameras around the country today? What purpose they serve? When are they good? When are they are too intrusive? Here is a look at the benefits and drawbacks of surveillance cameras.

Benefits of Surveillance

  • Cameras catch almost everything.
  • Cameras catch more than the human eye, such as: license plate numbers and suspicious people that would seem like nothing out of the ordinary until something has happened.
  • When cameras pick up a crime it's easier to solve the crime by spotting small things, like someone with a regular pattern, anyone suspicious, and anything that seems out of the ordinary.
  • Cameras in crime hot spots are a big help to find a routine in how the crimes are being committed.
  • Cameras can help get ahead of terrorist.

Dangers of Surveillance

  • All Surveillance cameras are programmed by someone, which means that whoever knows exactly how the camera is used also knows how to work against them.
  • Surveillance cameras make blackmail of bad behavior easier beyond belief.
  • The line is crossed when people want to know what people are thinking, reading, and hear.
  • Just like when you are being stared at by a stranger, people can begin to feel uncomfortable and begin to act differently.
  • Places like Disney use cameras for facial recognition and from their find all their information like credit cards and shopping habits.
  • Although cameras can spot criminals nothing can be done before police get there.


Twenty years ago heavy surveillance was not a priority, but with recent events taken into account it seems it is more necessary every day. Things like terrorism, hate crimes, and identity theft make surveillance seem like a hero. However, this hero seems to have two sides. While the surveillance helps society in many ways, it also has draw backs. Society will need to be mindful with how the technology is used. A balance will need to be found to keep citizens safe, without taking away their complete privacy. In conclusion, the recent spike in surveillance cameras found locally may be helpful, but it is important to make sure that citizens are protected without their total privacy being compromised.