Role of CCTV Cameras : Public, Privacy and Protection

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Many countries now employ public video surveillance as a primary tool to monitor population movements and to prevent crime and terrorism, both in the private and public sectors.

Councils, law enforcement and security management professionals in the UK rely heavily on video surveillance as a tool to fight crime and prevent terrorism. According to some researchers, the camera surveillance systems in the UK discourage criminals and thus preventing crime. 

Since this article was first put together in 2014, the capabilities of video surveillance systems have been transformed by fundamental shifts in how digital data is gathered, analysed, shared and stored. Security cameras are already playing a key role in the drive to smarter cities and the burgeoning industrial internet of things. Deep learning and AI is becoming more prevalent, as cameras are able to more accurately gather data and make predictions based on integrated analytical software manufacturers have developed.

Perhaps this is no better demonstrated than via Surveillance Camera Commissioner, Tony Porter’s comments, at IFSEC International in 2019. Tony highlighted how much had changed since he took on the role in 2014, with the growth of facial recognition, drones, body-worn cameras, analytics, GDPR and much more. Modern systems now have “phenomenal capabilities”, though these have created understandable misgivings about the risk for privacy and potential abuse such capabilities create. Porter therefore noted that the Home Office and surveillance industry must ensure only hardware and software compliant with relevant standards, such as Secure by Default, is installed in public and private spaces alike.

As an example of how things have progressed, take a look at this video from Hanwha Techwin, detailing the company’s top five trend predictions for video surveillance for 2020.