In our homes, we cover up the computer cameras to have our privacy, but publicly, there are thousands of videos of us. This makes us start wondering, whether or not security cameras are a serious invasion of privacy to all of us.
Privacy, or the state of being free from being observed or disturbed by other people, is something all of us seek. So should we be allowed to have it in public too?
So, let me answer your burning question...Are security cameras an invasion of privacy? 🚫
There is no denying that the security camera industry has skyrocketed as it became available to the general public. But could we become collateral damage to this rise of technology?
We can certainly debate all the good and bad cameras bring. Surveillance cameras were made to keep an eye on everything in their line of sight. But could that strip away our privacy?
Let's first see why security cameras are good, even if they are an invasion of privacy.
When cameras are not an invasion of privacy
Security cameras are placed in public to protect the general public, companies and businesses, and aid authorities. However, there is so much more to it.
It is no surprise that safety is the number one argument as to why cameras are not an invasion of privacy.
They have been proven to reduce crime, though they do not prevent it. However, they can keep your home from being robbed or vandalized.
And even have proof of vandalism that could possibly help the cops catch the perpetrator and put him behind bars.
With tons of features such as infra-red lights, cameras can also catch vandals at night. It also allows you to quickly figure out what happened and take measures against it.
Cameras and humans must work together to identify a criminal or solve a case. However, we can all admit that a surveillance camera is more effective than humans in some ways.
Such as, cameras are constantly monitoring. 24 hours a day. 7 days a week. And they also get jobs done way more skillfully than people themselves.
It can identify faces and patterns, store information and thousands of hours of footage. Something no human is capable of. 😮
A camera does not get paid, does not require sleep, breaks, and does not get sick. Its initial cost and repairs are what you mainly will use the money for.
However, if compared to a cop's salary, it is much cheaper to invest in a camera than a cop to guard a certain area.
While cops can be an invasion of privacy in certain situations, cameras are fixated in one place and therefore cannot invade the privacy of people in certain areas.
Surveillance cameras not only bring safety to the people, but it also facilitates jobs. For instance, toll stops used to be worked by people, which are now all cameras.
These cameras can also identify a stolen or runaway car and alert authorities to stop it. Something almost impossible before cameras took over this job!
Can keep you out of trouble
Footage can end up benefiting you in front of the court of law. It can be used as evidence to show you were framed, provide proof that someone else committed the crime and even confirm your alibi.
It can back up a witness to a crime, and even help them further recall what happened at the scene. This can certainly weigh a lot on the decision of the case.
Authority's best friend
Apart from allowing the cops and detectives to crack a case, it can actually let them into the criminal's life and mind.
By watching footage they can figure out who the criminal is, what they enjoy, who they talk to and where they go. This can be very influential to the case itself!
Additionally, it also allows the public to know what is going on. The news constantly plays evidence of the case and even small clips of a certain crime or happening.
This keeps the public alert and spreads caution about a topic or an event that took place. Therefore influencing the general public to take measures.
Many people disagree with all that was listed above, as they believe that their personal privacy should be allowed anywhere and everywhere.
However, when in public you do not have much privacy. If it was not a camera, then other people would be the invasion of privacy. Therefore, showing that having privacy in public is already hard as it is.
So, does your invasion of privacy outweigh your own safety?
When cameras are an invasion of privacy
Many individuals that side on this point of view argue that crimes cannot be prevented. And while that is true, crimes have dropped extravagantly since these security measures have been implemented.
So are security cameras just an invasion of privacy or are they effective in preventing crimes?
Do security cameras reduce crimes?
According to the "Understanding Decisions to Burglarize from the Offender’s Perspective" research done in 2012, cameras were proven effective!
It was found that "If the burglar noticed Surveillance Cameras ...50% of offenders said that they would discontinue the robbery".
Therefore, proving that in private residences, having a security camera reduces the robbery attempts by half. That is a large percentage for your safety.
Whoever believes that cameras are a total invasion of privacy should begin by throwing their phones away.
Though they are not used for surveillance, the newest phones use your face to identify you. Therefore, somewhat invading your privacy inside your own home.
Apart from that, your whole life is probably on your phone. And no, I do not mean you are a teenager that will die without their phone!
However, all your contacts, emails, texts, passwords, all live inside your phone. So, think about how much privacy you already do not have in your home.
Next time you use your computer that has tape over the camera, think twice before picking up and unlocking your phone using your face.
This is also a very debatable topic. What if someone hacks into the camera and now has access to all the footage?
Though breaches are not an everyday happening, it is possible. Which makes us quickly wonder, who has access to the footage?
Though it might be an invasion of privacy, some home cameras have previously been breached. However, camera brands have worked around and fixed this issue.
In the end, your footage is spread throughout many stores, places, and malls. But the chances that someone is even watching footage you appear in are slim to none.
As with everything else, regulations must be made to make sure invasion of privacy does not happen and personal content does not spread.
There are certain situations in which surveillance is an invasion of privacy to some degree. Such as placement, or the recording of a censored content recording.
Cameras do not choose their location, therefore it is up to us to regulate where they can and cannot be placed. For example, how would you feel if your neighbor had a camera facing your backyard and pool area? Or your bedroom window?
That is a perfect example of an invasion of privacy. Others include recording in bathrooms, hotel rooms, dressing rooms, spying using cameras, and hidden cameras in a person's house.
Disguised cameras are very common nowadays. They could be hidden in smoke detectors, pens, chargers, and glasses. So you must be extremely cautious!
No one will enjoy an invasion of privacy in their own home. Our homes are seen as a place where we can have privacy, shielded from the rest of the world.
Any breakage to these regulations can have consequences to the owner of the camera that inflicts an invasion of privacy.
Pros and cons
- Endless usages
- May be an invasion of privacy
- Security breaches
So do the pros outweigh the cons? Are security cameras really an invasion of your personal privacy when in public?
The bottom line
Usually, the pros of having your safety cared for beats the invasion of privacy it might inflict on the general public.
Surveillance cameras not only improve the protection of the public, but gives us peace of mind when we are far from home. And most importantly makes the whole world a safer place for generations to come.
Most cases of invasion of privacy come from breaches that are not as common and easy to perform like the movies make it seem! 😂
The cons are sure to make you more aware of your surroundings. However, you do not need to become paranoid about the world around you.
Most of us walk in front of various cameras every single day without even noticing! We let cameras live among us, use our faces as passwords, and order robots around every day.
What are your thoughts on security and surveillance cameras? Do they make you sweat and worry you? Or do they simply make you feel safe and secure? Let us know in the comments?
Claudemir Martins is a former Samsung Engineer with 16+ experience in the surveillance industry. He has been traveling around 17 different countries to teach people how to design, and install CCTV systems.