Face The Facts On Surveillance

from the they're-everywhere dept

Yet another person has noticed that there are now surveillance cameras absolutely everywhere. The fact is, most people don't realize the number of security cameras that are out there. This guy wonders if there are devices that can disable the cameras. Even though he's not planning on doing anything illegal, he just wants his privacy back. His compromise solution is that we need to get some control back over the cameras. He suggests that there should be a public directory of where the various cameras are and who runs them - as well as access to the records. This goes back to the increasingly popular concept of "watching the watchers". Unfortunately, apathy and ignorance make this unlikely to happen.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Chris, May 1st, 2003 @ 10:38am

    No Subject Given

    It's worrysome for sure, but in the short term neither the manpower or computer is really there to do anything with all this data that is being collected. Given how inefficently our government usually operates, we have time to get a handle on this. It will be a few years, at least, before somebody in the FBI can request all pictures of me taken in the last 48 hours, and get it. In reality, governments effort to watch everything probably means they are missing the vast majority of stuff they should be watching!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    bob, May 1st, 2003 @ 10:50am

    public vs private

    His rant doesn't make it clear how many of the surveillance cameras he's complaining about belong to private businesses or individuals. Sure, everyone has the right to privacy, but not in public. Surveillance cameras are a deterrent to crime in low-traffic areas like parking garages. A business has a right to protect it's assets using surveillance cameras, and frankly has an obligation to it's customers as well. How many convenience store robbers have been caught because they showed up on a surveillance tape right before it was sent to "America's Funniest Police Videos?"

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Chris, May 1st, 2003 @ 11:25am

    Re: public vs private

    I had a surveillance camera covering my property in my last house. We had some problem kids in the neighborhood so I set up low light camera that automatically triggered a VCR to record anytime motion was detected on my property. It was a pretty slick system, and great fun when we were selling he house. After every showing I would check the tape to see if we picked up any interesting driveway chatter from the potential buyers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    dsg, May 1st, 2003 @ 12:04pm

    Counter Surveillance

    The author of the article talks about jamming the signal... this says it would do the job:

    However, I'm really wanting to build one of these to "spy" on signals:

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Oliver Wendell Jones, May 1st, 2003 @ 12:55pm

    Re: public vs private

    After every showing I would check the tape to see if we picked up any interesting driveway chatter from the potential buyers

    IANAL, but just a legal FYI, you can legally record video of people in public without their prior consent but you can NOT record audio without them being aware you are doing so.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    ward99, May 2nd, 2003 @ 7:45am

    Database of cameras

    It'd take a lot of work, but it seems that it would be possible to make a database of cameras.
    Get a pic of it if possible, the latitude and longitude, and information about
    the location. Add any other relevant facts (zip, city, etc.)
    In an attempt in starting such a list, I've made a new group atAnnotatedEarth that would allow for this. This could just be a simple list. Or, if a person was using one of the AnnotatedEarth-enabled location aware applications, it would actually alert you when you got within a certain distance of a camera.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2003 @ 9:03am

    Re: cameras

    "It is quite rare for an institution to have more than one person watching its closed-circuit televisions at any one time. In many situations, no-one is assigned to watch the monitors, as employers may view it as a waste of manpower and employees view it as a tremendously mind-numbing chore. Think of all the unmonitored camera banks you've seen yourself. It's incredibly rare for someone to actually sit and do nothing else but watch the monitors. Further, often one monitor flips between the input of a dozen cameras. This means one has a one-in-12 chance of being seen, if anyone's watching. "

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Sissy Henemyre, May 3rd, 2006 @ 11:15am

    my opinion

    I think that surveillance cameras are good in a way but they can also be bad and annoying. If there is a surveillance camera around where you live, then you never know who's watching you. It might be a sex offender or even worse you could have children and they could come up missing one day and you wouldn't know where they are. If you have a personal surveillance cameras then it's alright because this way you can watch our for robbers or even catch someone on the tape trying to steal something from you yard or property.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    brookelyn fox, Mar 21st, 2011 @ 6:57am


    yes, we should be able to have our own privacy, next it'll be spying when were in the loo.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Hide this ad »
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Chat
Hide this ad »
Recent Stories
Advertisement - Amazon Prime Music
Hide this ad »


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.