I hear stories about people who worry about all the security cameras around today. They worry that people are losing their privacy. Cameras at streetlights, in buildings, at corners, at the mall, and in parks. Are all those cameras really needed, and Is it worth the invasion of your privacy? Well the truth is that the cameras are there to deter crime. They are there to capture the crime on film, and to capture the offender, when a crime is committed. To those who are worried about losing their privacy, they should keep in mind, that if no crime was committed, or reported, while you were wherever the camera was, then no one will ever watch that film.
One might say, it is OK to film a crime but it is not OK to film everything else, because that verges on invasion of privacy. I say it is not an invasion of privacy if no one watches it. With all the film footage being taken by all these surveillance cameras in all the places, all the time, keeping in mind there are dozens of cameras in most sensitive areas, and dozens if not hundreds of sensitive areas, not to mention all the casual wireless security cameras in all the other areas, it would be ridiculous to think someone is watching all that film. The film is stored, and only viewed if there is a report of a crime in the area of a camera. And if you have ever seen those films of crimes on TV, they are not home camcorder quality films. Unless someone came forward and identified you, whoever was watching the film would not know who anyone in the film is anyway.
If you are walking down the street and you see a camera, you don’t have to worry that the camera police are watching you, because they are not. Even if there is a crime on the same film, when the film is watched by the convening authority, they are watching for anything related to the crime and they are paying very little, if any, attention to that which has nothing to do with the crime.
Storage of the film footage is also an issue. If no crime is reported for a specific area of filming then that footage is looped and recorded over after a short period of time or there would be massive piles of hard drives filled with video footage that no one would ever care to look at. Almost all the footage from almost all of these cameras will never be seen by anyone. It sits on the hard drive until the drive is full and then the recording goes back and starts recording over from the beginning, and it keeps looping and looping until and unless there is a crime reported in the scope of that camera.
Even the cameras that are in private homes are seldom viewed, as they are there in case something happens. When the unthinkable happens and a home is broken into or someone is injured or abused then the film is viewed in hopes of seeing what happened or who did it. I have four wireless cameras at my home that I installed the day after my neighbor was robbed. The first day I came home from work after the cameras were installed I could not wait to see the film. It took me about ten minutes to realize that I would be there night if I wanted to watch eight hours of footage, times four cameras, that is thirty-two hours of film for one 8 hour work day. I have had the cameras for over a year now and have actually only watched maybe four hours of footage. Once when my trash can was knocked over, or when the window in the car next door was smashed. I watched the footage once when a small earthquake was reported in my area to see if the cameras shook. Other than that the footage has been written over dozens of times without ever being seen.
So in my opinion the probability of catching a crime on film is worth my privacy being invaded when I know that there is a 99.9 per cent chance no one will ever watch that film footage. That means to me that my privacy is safe and not only my privacy is safe but I am a little safer with the cameras there, god forbid that I, or someone I love, is the victim of the next crime that is filmed.