Is CCTV effective or not?

By | Nov 13, 2009

Creative Commons License photo credit: dno1967

Funny how we are so willing to give up our privacy for such paltry reasons. Seemingly harmless information like our birth date is pure gold for marketers looking to target our age groups; the same information is useful for thieves looking to forge our identities and opening credit lines in our name. Services like Facebook have found they can get people to give up their most intimate details by simply putting up a form asking for it.

At the same time, we’re terrified of the hypothetical terrorists who lurk behind every corner. We tolerate the presence of surveillance networks under the pretense that we are somehow safer.

CCTV networks are starting to crop up in North America, but in the UK where they are prevalent they have been shown to only assist in solving 1 crime for every 1,000 cameras. That is a lot of video footage to have to sort through on an ongoing basis.

Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate the presence of outside organizations in our lives. What value does the newest brand loyalty card have if you need to earn 100,000 arbitrary points to qualify for a token discount? Merchants who offer these types of programs derive much greater benefit from tracking our spending habits and preferences than we do by giving up our information.

Maybe we can live without the up-sell. Maybe we aren’t in as much danger as we thought – or at a minimum, maybe we’re not any safer after building these walls of technology.

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