Talking CCTV Cameras: Protection Or Intrusion?

by : Gabriel Adams

Today our world is hung in a very delicate balance between good and evil. Since the start of the new millennium, we have been gripped by a very fearful and powerful force; Fear- itself. It is the general belief that there are people who are fighting to eradicate this fear and those fighting to embed it deeper and deeper in to the human psyche.

Governments around the globe are making efforts to somehow eliminate this element of fear from our daily lives. Whether the attempts are successful or not is yet to be seen. One such step taken to guard the people against not only the more serious dangers, but also the little things like vandalism, unsocial and unruly behaviour is the Talking CCTV camera, predominantly being installed in the United Kingdom. These cameras will not only enable the operators to notice bad or dangerous activities, but will also enable them to speak to the offenders right there and then, in a bid to dissuade them from carrying out their actions.

Like everything else, these cameras will have some positives and a few negatives as well. They are already being used in a few areas of Britain and have, reportedly, helped in checking things like littering, street violence, vandalism against businesses and public properties and have also helped locate a few missing people to the joy of their loved ones. The promoters argue that the Talking CCTV cameras will enable people to breath easy, knowing that not only they, but the prospective offenders are also being watched. They are almost never alone on the streets and someone somewhere is keeping an eye on them and can also help, if the need may arise.

On the other hand, how much intrusion do we really want in our lives? Do we really want to be watched wherever we are and whatever we do?

There are an estimated 4.2 million CCTV cameras working in Britain, which is about 20% of the total number around the world at present. At a ratio of one camera for every fourteen people, you are likely to be caught on tape almost 300 times a day. With people looking at you from far-off places and, as it will be with the talking cameras, shouting orders like walk straight and don't look back ( which feels more like a scene from a futuristic science fiction movie), would you feel comfortable and safe or will you regard it as a violation of civil liberties?

Even though we all would like to feel protected and the governments, by and large, are trying to do their duty by us, how much and to what degree will this type of surveillance be acceptable and more importantly be effective? That my friends...time will only tell.