Despite the fact that surveillance plays an essential role in enhancing security, ethical issues have emerged on the violations associated with surveillance. This stems from the fact that surveillance interferes with the privacy of individuals. However, the basis of a society of surveillance can be traced to the information that people give out voluntarily, for example, interactions and transactions with government, corporations, and peers. The press, politicians, and policymakers view the use of CCTV as effective and encourage criminologists to use surveillance (Monahan 2010, p. 5). On the other hand, professionals who concentrate on civil liberties criticize surveillance because of the danger it causes.
Critics perceive surveillance as the trade-off between the civil liberties of individuals and control of crimes (Stephen 2011, p. 44). Traditionally, governments had limited resources and could not manage to survey the entire population at once. As such, there was a heavy reliance on watching with the aim of controlling the population. With the advent of modern technology, it has become possible to observe many people at once and no one can observe the one who observes them.
The cultures of surveillance have enhanced efficiency in observing the behavior of the masses. This is unlike the traditional ways of surveillance and observing that needed the presence of the person observing (Stephen 2011, p. 47). The United Kingdom can be regarded as the nation, which has embraced the use of CCTV surveillance more than any other nation in the world. There are around 4.2 million CCTV cameras spread all over Great Britain. The cameras monitor and record the actions and behavior of people who pass in front of them (Stephen 2011, p.
53). For example, the cameras monitor the movements of people who may spend time or linger outside jewelry shops, or people whose movements can be regarded as suspicious. Moreover, some cameras focus on facial recognition of persons who may be viewed as criminals or suspects who may be planning to conduct acts of theft.
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