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Cyberspace and Society - Essay Example

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Privacy is a very hotly debated topic these days. The sky rise growth of the internet, electronics and state of the art devices, individual's privacy is very negatively affected. CCTV has played a pivotal role in decreasing the mass's privacy. Most often cameras are installed quietly, prompting few complaints…
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Cyberspace and Society
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Download file to see previous pages The latest figures indicate that 460,000 CCTV cameras were sold between 1996-1999 (Gadher, 1999). Clive Norris, a criminologist at Hull University stated "A million cameras could be a conservative estimate. On an average day in London, or any other big country in the United States, an individual is filmed by more thancameras from 30 different CCTV networks. The filming goes on throughout the day, and in some areas, such as the London Underground, it is constant" (Gadher, 1999). Local authorities run nearly CCTVs partly funded by Home Office grants. CCTV systems were initially installed in town centers to protect shops but, in the face of the fear of crime, spread to residential districts, schools and parks (Unsworth, 1999). In the United Kingdom cameras have not been found to deter crime (with cases of violence against shops on the rise by 44% between 1996-7) but they helped to secure conviction (Unsworth, 1999). Interestingly, it has been asserted that CCTV can be effective in reducing crime or the fear of crime, (Unsworth) and it is the perception of danger, not necessarily actual risk that may be significant.
Cameras can be connected to computers with software capable of...
In the United Kingdom cameras have not been found to deter crime (with cases of violence against shops on the rise by 44% between 1996-7) but they helped to secure conviction (Unsworth, 1999). Interestingly, it has been asserted that CCTV can be effective in reducing crime or the fear of crime, (Unsworth) and it is the perception of danger, not necessarily actual risk that may be significant.
Cameras can be connected to computers with software capable of vehicle license plate recognition or face recognition. A computer-controlled surveillance system that automatically tracks police-designated target faces has gone into effect in East London. Software that can match people passing video cameras to facial images stored on a database has been developed and tested (Thomas, 1998). When the CCTV identifies a target face, the local police security team passes the information to police. The intent is to prevent mugging and shoplifting but civil liberties groups note that innocent people are bound to suffer, as mistakes inevitably will be made. There is a balance to be struck between crime prevention and our individual and collective freedoms. The use of this kind of technology strikes the wrong balance (Thomas, 1999).
What is the purpose of data protection law Depending upon whose opinion is being voiced, data protection law can be variously heard described as a means of protecting an individual's fundamental right to privacy (Debussere, 2005), a mechanism for validating the commodification of data, a justification for overriding of privacy interests in the 'public interest' (Leith, 2002), or a disguised barrier to entrance to a nation's market for international competitors (Nijhawan, 2003: 492) to provide ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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