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Traffic Light Camera - Essay Example

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In the essay “Traffic Light Camera” the author discusses the use of traffic light cameras, which has been a controversial issue within the public domain. While some scholars agree that these cameras provide a sense of security, others argue that they interfere with the public rights of privacy…
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Traffic Light Camera The use of traffic light cameras has been a controversial issue within the public domain. While some scholars agree that these cameras provide a sense of security, others argue that they interfere with the public rights of privacy. However, it is clear that the right of safety overrides the privacy rights and the security cameras can provide security and safeguard the public from police misbehavior.
Catherine Mangu argues that installed video cameras ensure that the public is safe from the police misbehavior. He says there is “the boom of public cameras” to show the increase in cameras in the public domain (3). She argues that these cameras help to record any misbehavior by police officers such as corruption of mistreatment. In addition, Mangu (3) supports the idea that these cameras can aid in security investigations. For instance, in London, camera footage led to speedy identification of July 2005 bombers. Eggers and Tushnet (1) say that a camera is a “crime fighting tool” to support the idea that security cameras help the police in protecting the public. They dismiss the idea that these cameras interfere with personal privacy on the ground that cameras are used everywhere including in supermarkets and bank ATMs and no one complains about privacy. Richard says that cameras must be “properly used and monitored” if they have to be effective in fighting crime (1). The implication is that the information from the cameras must be used for the right purpose to protect the privacy of the public. He cautions against abuse of information collected from cameras by the authorities. The three authors seem to agree that security cameras are necessary for public security.
Another group of scholars has criticized the use of surveillance cameras arguing that this violates the private rights of the public. Steinhardt (6-7) argues that surveillance cameras gather information that is private to the public and that those who use the information are not necessarily security bodies. Therefore, there is abuse of information collected by the surveillance cameras. He states that “cops - not cameras - fight crime” to show that the surveillance cameras are unnecessary tools in fighting crime (2). The New York Civil Liberties union (1) says that these cameras collect information that is “more than required” for fighting crime. This information can be shared, hence exposing the people’s privacy. The suggestion of this group is that the use of cameras be regulated to balance between public privacy rights and safety. Belsie supports the arguments of the two authors reasoning that there is the risk of abuse of this information. Belsie says that this is “invasion by electronic eyes”, which are more similar to the human eyes (1). The law has not yet regulated who accesses the information that is recorded by surveillance cameras. The concession of the three authors is that the cameras are indeed not a solution to security but a violation of the human rights of privacy.
From a critical point of view is that security cameras and their use is a controversial issue. In my own opinion, I support the idea that security camera technology should be increased to increase public safety. While, these cameras may record private information, it is clear that they will make people more honest and control even their behavior. The criminals can be monitored all the time and this will make it easy to identify suspects and hasten the process of identifying criminals while holding tangible evidence. What is necessary is not to eliminate the cameras but to make the service more effective. For instance, the government should stricter policies to control use of information collected from the public to ensure that it remains confidential and used only for intended purpose. Proper use of Security cameras will ensure that the public are safer without violating their privacy.
Works Cited
Belsie, Laurent. "Public Surveillance Cameras Violate Privacy." Civil Liberties. Ed. Roman
Espejo. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2009. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from "The eyes
have it-for now." The Christian Science Monitor. 2002. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 25 June 2014.
Eggers, William D., and Eve Tushnet. "Video Cameras Help Police While Protecting the
Public." Are Privacy Rights Being Violated? Ed. Stuart A. Kallen. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2006. At Issue. Rpt. from "Big Brothers Eyes." New York Post 2 May 2002. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 25 June 2014.
Gray, J. Richard. "Public Video Surveillance Can Enhance Safety." Privacy. Roman Espejo.
Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2010. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from "Statement Re: Video Surveillance Camera Program." www.co.lancaster.pa.us. 2009. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 25 June 2014.
Mangu-Ward, Katherine. "Video Cameras Help Protect the Public from Police Abuse." Are
Privacy Rights Being Violated? Ronald D. Lankford, Jr. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2010.At Issue. Rpt. from "Is Privacy Overrated?" Reason (9 Jan. 2007). Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 25 June 2014.
Steinhards, Barry. Public Surveillance cameras Violate Privacy Rights. 2004. Civil Liberties, 1-7.
"The Right of Privacy Is Destroyed by Video Cameras in Public Places." Whos Watching? New York, NY: The New York Civil Liberties Union, 2006. Rpt. in Are Privacy Rights Being Violated? Ronald D. Lankford, Jr. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2010. At Issue. OpposingViewpoints in Context. Web. 25 June 2014. Read More
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