by Aaron R. Hamming
In recent years there has been a growing trend involving the use of closed circuit
cameras can be extremely small and are often hardly noticeable. But few people it seems
have stopped to consider the possible impacts these cameras have on our lives. And it is
the negative consequences that may very well outweigh any of the potential benefits.
Currently there are no adequate laws regulating the use of such cameras, and it is
unlikely that without public outcry that there will be any instituted. Both the United States
continue to be of secondary importance to social control interests.
protection or safety. The benefit comes by making the consumers feel more secure while
these such problems. Until the basis of these problems are addressed they cannot be
solved, and they will only continue to get worse. By ignoring these problems we can only
The fourth amendment to the U.S. Constitution is very explicit in guaranteeing our
rampant use of c.c.t.v is violating. Because there are no laws regulating it?s usage,
innocent people will continue to be scrutinized and evaluated for no substantial reason.
Such monitoring allows the notions of reasonable cause or search warrants to be
The use of these cameras in the private sector allows businesses to try and
consumers are identified and may be asked to leave the premises. Or in the case of public
streets, people that look like potential troublemakers can be harassed or detained for no
other reason than their appearance.
The net effect of labeling people as consumers and non-consumers is that it breeds
Certain groups that can be identified only by superficial characteristics, such as the
impoverished, are routinely overtargeted by this system. It serves as a method of purifying
an establishment by eliminating what the store may consider to be undesirable shoppers.
Such an example of profiling and over-policing goes completely against this country?s
notion of equality under the law and is a blatant example of infringement upon our most
basic civil liberties.
Minorities are often targeted based on appearance. In the status quo, it is
permissible to do this even if they have done nothing wrong. Basing judgements on racial
by promoting segregation.
This systematic exclusion in public places promotes what is known as
hyper-polarization. Attempts to target and eliminate people based on class or racial
differences inevitably leads to alienation of these segments of society. The government?s
decision not to become involved makes it complicit in this means of discrimination,
moving us one step closer towards de-facto discrimination.
resistance or rioting. Facing no alternatives can certainly lead to extreme reactions. This
there would seem to be little alternative but to establish a strict police state.
Another negative consequence of c.c.t.v. is that it allows businesses to monitor it?s
anything that does not directly benefit the businesses productivity. Doing so in effect
whose sole function is to turn a profit for the business.
While this may not be a tremendous problem in the U.S. because of our basic labor
laws, it is becoming disastrous in less-developed countries. Do to the trend of
minimal or even non-existent. And with closer surveillance the conditions in these
sweatshops will be allowed to deteriorate dramatically. Employers can watch from
productive things as eating or taking bathroom breaks.
What is needed to eliminate the threats posed by c.c.t.v. use is a means of making
the system accountable to the public. The surveillers need to be held responsible for what
remain at the whims and desires of those operating the systems. It is naive to think that if
More likely is that each step we take towards a police state that goes unchallenged will
allow for each subsequent step to take place. And after each step it becomes increasingly
difficult to reverse the trend.
No outside sources used