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America's Debate > Archive > Policy Debate Archive > [A] Domestic Policy
During the search for the unsuccessful bombers I noticed how many street cameras they have in the United Kingdom. Many have been very opposed to this idea in the past. But would the public be more open to the idea now. The idea is that those who are innocent will not be worried if cameras are watching them, well "being innocent". Not only could this help in identifying possible terrorists, but could help in deterring our domestic crime problems as well.

Would installing cameras on street corners be a violation to our right to privacy?

Would installing cameras on street corners be a violation to our right to privacy?

Well, no, I doubt it. However, I do have questions about it; namely, I would want there to be some considerable transparency about how this data will be used. Will politician A be able to obtain the video of politician B getting into a car with a woman other than his wife? Well, you see where I'm headed. There's a whole lot of things we do that, while not illegal, we certainly wouldn't want splashed across the evening news.

But my 'one cup of coffee so far' thought is that it would be Constitutional.... probably. Because it's in the public sphere and it's passive.
I agree with your point about the politicians.

Control of said cameras would have to be that no media would ever have access to them at anytime what so ever. The only time images from said cameras would be released would be to help apprehend somebody caught committing a crime or terrorist activity on them.
Would installing cameras on street corners be a violation to our right to privacy?

While I do not know specifically of how the right of privacy would be infringed by installing videocameras on main street corners I have to object to the procedure.

If it is possible to follow a person's path throughout the city, recording all that he or she does all day is best described as surveillance and regardless whether or not the material is actually being used, I would call that the best way to a police state.
I would always mistrust the state in such matters, for it is no problem from recording the moves of terrorists and that of political opposition. Modern technology is a fine instrument for dictatorship.

As the London experience has pointed out cameras do nothing to prevent crime. They might deter crime sightly if the criminal thinks they will be identified, but this usually only for stickups and muggings.

In many cases these crimes are already committed by people wearing masks or the like.

I don't know about elsewhere, but in NYC this debate is already over. In the business district there are cameras on almost every large office building, as well as in the lobbies and many times in the elevators as well.

Many public housing projects have cameras as well.

When will stores and the like start using their cameras as a way to identify customers and track not only buying habits but browsing habits as well?

The right to just be left alone seems to have been swept aside.
QUOTE(Sleeper @ Aug 7 2005, 12:17 PM)

Would installing cameras on street corners be a violation to our right to privacy?

Emphatically, no. This is the same concept of police watching people as they walk down the street with their own eyes. Cameras just extend the sight to include more areas and a constant watch. I think this is a fabulous idea, and I can't really see any argument for having "privacy" when you are walking on a sidewalk in a city, other than your own body. In fact, it is impossible to argue that people looking at you are violating your privacy. If someone is looking from the street, through your window, at you, the person that is being looked at isn't having his privacy violated, because he is the one relinquishing it. Now, if the person broke the glass and pulled the curtains to one side to look at someone, then that is a violation. So basically, I would probably say anyone who is against this for "privacy" reasons will probably commit a crime themselves, and are hoping that no one will witness it. (Hmm...maybe I shouldn't generalize that much... dry.gif whatever tongue.gif .)
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