Author Topic: Privacy or Safety?  (Read 4949 times)

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Offline Corrine

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Privacy or Safety?
« on: July 31, 2005, 11:46:19 PM »
How do you feel about this?  Would you be comfortable with cameras tracking your movements in public areas every time you turn around -- "in the name of safety" or would you feel it an envasion of your privacy? 

I've noticed a lot more security cameras in grocery store parking lot and even around the "service desk" in recent years.  I avoid looking at the monitors, as I'm afraid I'll break the camera.  :D

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Privacy or Safety?


The Washington Times has published an interesting editorial about the public's perception of surveillance cameras in the wake of the recent London bombings. London has something on the order of half a million cameras recording public areas.

On the one hand, few people like the idea of being on camera everywhere they go. On the other, mentally unstable people who attempted to commit mass murder have been captured thanks to these cameras.

People have been debating the usefulness of these cameras for years. Many people view them as an invasion of privacy. Others view them as being a deterrent to crime. Every time I wade into the argument, people are surprised to learn that I think public surveillance cameras are a good idea.

My opinion is this: outside of my house, I don't expect privacy. If I am in public, there is no privacy to be had anyway. If I am going to do something that I would be embarrassed to see published, I wait until I am home to do it. By the same logic, I would rather have a cop following me around a dark neighborhood than a shifty-looking fellow wearing a ski mask. I might be annoyed that the cop is following me but at least I know that I won't be mugged while he's doing it.

I will take issue with one thing in that editorial.

When these gadgets mainly served to deter petty street crime, they seemed debatable. But when the cameras help to catch terrorists bent on mass slaughter, civil liberties complaints suddenly sound pathetically trivial.

If he is referring only to the cameras, then I will agree. If, however, he is saying that anything is justified in the name of catching terrorists and civil liberties be damned, then I will have to disagree with that. I have no problem with being watched while I am in public. Now, if London police were to start breaking down every door in the city to search for explosives and detaining everyone who looks even a little suspicious, I could not support that. I wouldn't have supported the idea of the FBI breaking down every door in Boston on September 12, 2001 either (the 9/11 murderers took off from the Boston airport).

I gave this article the title "Privacy or Safety?", but it is not a matter of choosing one over the other. You can have both privacy and safety at the same time. The goal is to protect our society from these terrorists, not to help the terrorists destroy it. Catching these terrorists is important in order to protect our society. Having civil liberties to keep the government in check is just as important. Otherwise, the society will be destroyed anyway. I might be safe from muggers and terrorists in Beijing or Pyongyang but I sure wouldn't want to live in either city.

Links:
http://washingtontimes.com/commentary/20050729-091407-7067r.htm :: Cameras, safety and privacy

From Privacy or Safety?


The Washington Times has published an interesting editorial about the public's perception of surveillance cameras in the wake of the recent London bombings. London has something on the order of half a million cameras recording public areas.

On the one hand, few people like the idea of being on camera everywhere they go. On the other, mentally unstable people who attempted to commit mass murder have been captured thanks to these cameras.

People have been debating the usefulness of these cameras for years. Many people view them as an invasion of privacy. Others view them as being a deterrent to crime. Every time I wade into the argument, people are surprised to learn that I think public surveillance cameras are a good idea.

My opinion is this: outside of my house, I don't expect privacy. If I am in public, there is no privacy to be had anyway. If I am going to do something that I would be embarrassed to see published, I wait until I am home to do it. By the same logic, I would rather have a cop following me around a dark neighborhood than a shifty-looking fellow wearing a ski mask. I might be annoyed that the cop is following me but at least I know that I won't be mugged while he's doing it.

I will take issue with one thing in that editorial.

When these gadgets mainly served to deter petty street crime, they seemed debatable. But when the cameras help to catch terrorists bent on mass slaughter, civil liberties complaints suddenly sound pathetically trivial.

If he is referring only to the cameras, then I will agree. If, however, he is saying that anything is justified in the name of catching terrorists and civil liberties be damned, then I will have to disagree with that. I have no problem with being watched while I am in public. Now, if London police were to start breaking down every door in the city to search for explosives and detaining everyone who looks even a little suspicious, I could not support that. I wouldn't have supported the idea of the FBI breaking down every door in Boston on September 12, 2001 either (the 9/11 murderers took off from the Boston airport).

I gave this article the title "Privacy or Safety?", but it is not a matter of choosing one over the other. You can have both privacy and safety at the same time. The goal is to protect our society from these terrorists, not to help the terrorists destroy it. Catching these terrorists is important in order to protect our society. Having civil liberties to keep the government in check is just as important. Otherwise, the society will be destroyed anyway. I might be safe from muggers and terrorists in Beijing or Pyongyang but I sure wouldn't want to live in either city.

Links:
http://washingtontimes.com/commentary/20050729-091407-7067r.htm :: Cameras, safety and privacy



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Re: Privacy or Safety?
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2005, 12:40:00 AM »
It's a sure sign of things to come that are already here. Unfortunately we now live in an era where crime is out-of-control and cameras are about the best possible chance of getting those villains identity.

I saw on America's Most Wanted the other night that John Walsh is leading up an effort to have congress pass & enact a new bill designed to mandatorily TRACK convicted violent offenders where ever they are after release via whatever means are at Law Enforcements disposal. Seems many of them refuse to "register" (avoiding disclosure of their whereabouts) when they move from place to place and a large percentage of those types commit repeat crimes even worse then before in some cases.

Personally i have no problem with surveillance monitoring (even on street) so long as they use it toward that purpose.


Offline hayc59

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Re: Privacy or Safety?
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2005, 12:44:41 AM »
Personally i have no problem with surveillance monitoring (even on street) so long as they use it toward that purpose.
I agree it keeps bad people honest
Now if it pointed at my home thats a whole other story

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Offline JonPaulOnLine

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Re: Privacy or Safety?
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2005, 12:45:24 AM »
I start my day visiting a local wawa store to pick up my coffee, and walk in front of  surveillance camera.
No problem

It’s a good plan to install surveillance cameras in public place and stores.
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Offline BINGO53

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Re: Privacy or Safety?
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2005, 01:53:17 PM »
Just a bit of trivia here.  Las Vegas Nevada is probally one of the heaviest camera survailed cities in the world.  So why do people on the run go there???       :lol:

Offline Herumutsu

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Re: Privacy or Safety?
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2005, 09:01:04 AM »
I remember many cases in which the lack of a security-camera at various strategic places in public annoyed me - if used correctly, surveillance on the streets would not only reduce crime-rate, protect you from becoming a victim and make the prosecution of criminals easier as well as less time/resource-consuming, it would also make it quite a lot harder to falsely accuse people of commiting certain crimes, intentionally or not.

Privacy in public is an oxymoron either way, so why not make it so that safety in public isn't?


That is my opinion, anyway.

Offline Die Hard

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Re: Privacy or Safety?
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2005, 09:27:37 AM »
Every grocery store have hidden camers.They cover every possible corners of the store. It´s just tiny lenses hidden in the ceiling, not visible for the customers.
Their presence have never bothered me . But I guess they are an obstacle for those who intend to not pay for what they "buy".

Stockholm is not even close compared to London when it comes to survilliance cameras . But even if it was , I would applaud it.
Many severe crimes have been solved because of the cameras.

A famous case some ten years ago when a 2 yo boy was beaten to death by two 11 yo boys in Liverpool was solved solely because the cameras was the only eyes that watched it  He was kidnapped and lured outside the shopping mall and was beaten to death by the older boys.

That was when I went from an opponent to suppoting cameras.

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