Toronto Removes Surveillance Cameras Due To Human Respect... Plans To Disrespect Humans Somewhere Else

from the r-e-s-p-e-c-t dept

These days, it's become quite common to see surveillance cameras pretty much all over in any major downtown metropolitan area. There have been plenty of protests against such cameras, but it hasn't done much to stop them from spreading. However, Rob Hyndman points us to the news that Toronto has agreed to remove some controversial surveillance cameras that were placed at an intersection with a high crime rate. People protested over the potential for their privacy to be violated, and worried that all it would do is shift crime to neighboring streets. Six months of such protests have convinced the police to remove the cameras, noting that the decision was partly due to "human respect." Of course, that doesn't explain the next statement: "The supervisor also indicated that the cameras will be used elsewhere in the city." So, apparently, they feel perfectly fine disrespecting humans elsewhere.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Keltiscj, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 12:06am

    You knew

    Of course this was going to happening. You'd be a moron if you didn't think it would.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 12:57am

    What would happen? There's more than one point being made in the article. You're the moron for making such a vague comment.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 1:41am

    why doent you morans lern American?

     

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  4.  
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    mike allen, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 1:52am

    its time

    Lets stop this surveillance culture of the so called authorities its gone way to far even putting infra red cameras on housing estates in the UK. (i expect they watch amorous couples in bed at night instead of looking for thieves.)

     

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  5.  
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    Getefix, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 2:11am

    Apply Equally

    Equality is always the key. We need streaming web cams in the offices of our public representatives and in the police stations, etc... Then we can just check a website to make sure our public servants are actually working rather than bopping the student intern or eating doughnuts and scratching their asses. If there weren't high incidences of crime in these public areas already we wouldn't need Internal Affairs or Ethics Boards.

     

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  6.  
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    Mort, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 2:13am

    Re: More on morons

    Moronic mavens of maneuvering mopeds meander maimlessly; meanwhile, massed mattering mabobs of megativity mindlessly manipulate mental machinations.

     

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  7.  
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    Chris Charabaruk (profile), Nov 7th, 2008 @ 2:56am

    They'll probably just put them up around Yonge and Dundas. Bog knows that area doesn't have enough security cams yet. *rolls eyes*

     

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  8.  
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    Crabby (profile), Nov 7th, 2008 @ 5:15am

    Re: Re: More on morons

    Meh.

     

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  9.  
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    Andy, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 5:39am

    Id rather be on camera than get shot. It hurts a lot less

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 6:06am

    Re:

    Will it hurt less if you're shot on camera?

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 6:15am

    Odd

    I have never understood the huge fuss over cameras on city streets. If they are aiming an infrared camera at your house that is one thing, but if you are walking along a downtown street, then you have no expectation of privacy, you are in public, out in the open no less. Thousands of other people see (and hear) you as you walk down the road, should everyone put on blinders and earmuff as to not disturb your privacy. I hate to beat a dead horse but if you aren't doing anything wrong then a camera on a public street should not concern you.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 7:33am

    Re: Odd

    I hate to beat a dead horse but if you aren't doing anything wrong then a camera on a public street should not concern you.
    That's all fine and dandy, but who decides what's wrong? What if the definition changes? And then "they" decide to go after alleged transgressions in the past?

     

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    TheStupidOne, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 7:44am

    Re: Re: Odd

    Forgive me for not knowing the term, but making something illegeal after the fact and then punishing the offender is unconstitutional. So a change in definition shouldn't worry you either.

    It is all about the expectation of privacy. If I'm walking down the sidewalk I should expect everyone to see me. If on the other hand I'm in my house with the blinds drawn then I have an expectation of privacy and I'll sue the hell out of the government that tries to invade that.

     

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  14.  
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    Hulser, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 7:50am

    Re: Odd

    should everyone put on blinders and earmuff as to not disturb your privacy

    Of course not. But there is a very big distinction between a citizen gatching a glance of you on a public street and the government making a permanent record of your movements on a public street.

    I hate to beat a dead horse but if you aren't doing anything wrong then a camera on a public street should not concern you.

    The reason that horse is dead is because your argument lacks merit and has been discredited many times in the past. For example, if you're not doing anything wrong in your own home, you wouldn't mind the government putting a Big Brother like camera in your living room, right?

    You might think that streetcorner cameras would never lead to Big Brother cameras, but I personally don't like the direction this takes us or the potential for abuse. Here's a novel idea, why don't they just hire some extra cops to walk the beat in high crime areas?

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 7:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Odd

    Forgive me for not knowing the term, but making something illegeal after the fact and then punishing the offender is unconstitutional. So a change in definition shouldn't worry you either.
    Which constitution are you referring to? I believe that is correct statement in most countries. Someone who can say IAAL could expand on that thought.

     

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  16.  
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    Hulser, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 7:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Odd

    Forgive me for not knowing the term, but making something illegeal after the fact and then punishing the offender is unconstitutional. So a change in definition shouldn't worry you either.

    It's called ex post facto. But I don't think that's what AC meant by "go after alleged transgressions in the past". I took it to mean that, if the government has tapes on you, they can go back in the archives and charge you with breaking the existing laws at the time. For example, you piss off some cop and he decides to find every instance of you jaywalking on the tapes. Suddenly you get 30 jaywalking tickets in one day.

     

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  17.  
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    Chad Allard, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 8:56am

    Disrespecting humans? That's ridiculous! There are cameras all over the place in the north end of town here where gang violence, vandalism, murder, drug deals, etc.. take place. Since the cameras have been put up, crime has been basically eliminated from those areas which does a great justice for the community.

    What are people afraid of? Are they afraid that they might be seen doing something they shouldn't? Picking their nose? What could possibly warrant "human disrespect"? I think the only ones who would complain about something like that are the ones who, themselves, could be charged by such a system.

    Will it bring crime into neighboring areas? Chances are crime ALREADY EXISTS there. At least if the crime is herded into the neighboring areas, they may be easier to police than in the central areas of the city.

    I have nothing to hide.. if the government wants me on tape, sure why not? I just don't understand why someone like me would have to worry about the government potentially having that information.

    People are saying it brings us close to "Big Brother" in that soon we may see cameras in our homes watching our every moves but first let me say a few things:
    1. This would NEVER pass. Homes are private while city streets are PUBLIC places. When you go out in public you have to have a certain level of understand that someone somewhere may see you.. out in public.
    2. If you think we're anywhere near big brother technology, especially in Canada, you're way off. We don't have the money to support a project so widespread and ridiculous as that.
    3. What's different about being watched in the street and being watched in your local supermarket or grocery store? Cameras are all over the place in there in order to catch you doing things you should (gasp.. for the same reason?!) and yet I don't think I hear of said stores removing cameras because of human respect.

    Give me a break.. I welcome ANY initiative to clean up these TERRIBLE downtown streets. If I have to be on camera somewhere for that to happen, I gladly accept that.

     

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  18.  
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    mobiGeek, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 9:37am

    Re:

    Anonymous Coward got a real zinger in there (well done AC!), but I'd also like to add:

    Would you rather be charged for doing benign activities (possibly even legal ones) than having the feel-good security theatre that is unproven to actually detract crime?


    [AC's sounded so much better....sigh]

     

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  19.  
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    mobiGeek, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 9:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Odd

    Who says that what you are being charged with even has to be what you are caught on tape doing?

    Even if you are innocent, the fact that they have "evidence" is enough to restrict your freedoms, tie you up in the court systems, etc.

    The argument that you could then sue for wrongful prosecution is a "best outcome"...I'd rather avoid the whole mess altogether.

    If they can tape me on the street, a private citizen in a public place, then I want to tape them on the job, a public employee doing public work.

     

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  20.  
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    mobiGeek, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 9:45am

    Re:

    Since the cameras have been put up, crime has been basically eliminated

    No, the crime has not been eliminated...it just isn't as visible. The crime has moved indoors or has moved down the street.

    Cameras do not solve the problem of crime, they simply relocate it.

    In fact, they harm the situation by allowing politicians and police executives to turn their attention away from the real problems: housing, unemployment, education, addiction, mental health, etc... "Cameras installed, problem solved...let's give ourselves bonuses!"

     

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  21.  
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    Hulser, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 9:48am

    Re:

    1. This would NEVER pass. Homes are private while city streets are PUBLIC places. When you go out in public you have to have a certain level of understand that someone somewhere may see you.. out in public.

    Sure, other citizens will see you. But that's not what we're talking about. This is the government recording you. Big difference. As for the expectation of privacy, I have the expectation that if I'm walking around on the street, that other regular people might see me and maybe some cops walking around. What I don't expect is that somewhere there is a government official reviewing the tapes of me walking around.


    2. If you think we're anywhere near big brother technology, especially in Canada, you're way off. We don't have the money to support a project so widespread and ridiculous as that.

    I don't think we're anywhere close to the governemnt implementing Big Brother cameras in homes, but refuting the point based on cost is just silly. How much is a web cam? Do you seriously think that cost would be the issue?


    3. What's different about being watched in the street and being watched in your local supermarket or grocery store? Cameras are all over the place in there in order to catch you doing things you should (gasp.. for the same reason?!) and yet I don't think I hear of said stores removing cameras because of human respect.

    The difference, and it's crucial, is that the street is a public place and a supermarket is private property. Back to expectations: if I go into a supermarket or store, I can reasonably expect that there will be security cameras.


    Give me a break.. I welcome ANY initiative to clean up these TERRIBLE downtown streets. If I have to be on camera somewhere for that to happen, I gladly accept that.

    But that's the point. It doesn't have to be. They could simply hire more cops to patrol high crime areas.

     

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  22.  
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    Keltisch, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 9:55am

    Re:

    Well it made sense when I was drunk last night.

     

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  23.  
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    Lyle, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 12:57pm

    I've never been falsely accused or framed for some legal incident, so I can only vaguely imagine how that tears apart your life. However, as a father, I can certainly imagine the horror of having a child or love one snatched off the street. Having cameras available to track or trace such violent criminal actions may prevent destruction of many lives. Cameras would give the existing police much more coverage and intelligence at a fraction of the cost of adding more street level patrolman. Certainly nothing is free of potential misuse/abuse by officials. But I find the public vs. private argument amusing considering most of the folks using this medium literally put their diaries and personal photos on my space/facebook for the world to use as they wish..

     

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  24.  
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    mobiGeek, Nov 8th, 2008 @ 11:26am

    Re:

    A camera will deter a sane, intelligent individual from committing a crime where the camera is located.

    I hate to be ugly about it, but in your "keep my child safe" example the camera's only use will be in tracking down your child's perpetrator...who may or may not still have your child.

    The truth is that there is little evidence that cameras reduce overall crime. They might reduce crime in a specific area, for an initial time. But the majority of criminals commit crimes because they don't think they'll be caught, that they are too anonymous and unpredictable.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2009 @ 8:45pm

    Sdfu u noobs, no one even watches the footage in the cameras unless a crime was commited in the area.

     

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