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The Ethics of Surveillance Cameras - Essay Example

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The aim of the current essay is to explore the questions regarding the morality of surveillance cameras and the overall concept of being constantly observed. Therefore, the essay shall examine the history of the introduction and initial purpose of the surveillance cameras to the general public…
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The Ethics of Surveillance Cameras
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Download file to see previous pages From when you walk out of your house, in most cities, you are being watched (Parenti, 2003). This is because the cameras are now installed in major city streets, gas stations, retail shops and transport systems such as trains. The use of surveillance cameras doubled in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City. These prompted frantic efforts, to curb terrorism, a major threat to security in this century. We are seeking to look at the ethics of surveillance cameras.
Historically, the idea of watching the public by a select few, especially those who control us politically and economically can be traced to the Panoptical (Foucault, 1977). This was a kind of prison design, built in such a way that a single guard could watch the prisoners in a single gaze. This is a big way induces prisoners in a state of conscious and permanent knowledge that they are being watched. Foucault saw surveillance as productive machinery of continuous mind control, which is somehow what current surveillance cameras represent. Therefore, what we seek to argue here is that we need new ethics in the surveillance camera industry, because of the reasons below. This is because surveillance when done correctly and for the right reasons and people, then we can surrender apart of our civil liberty to privacy, for the sake of public security.
Closed -circuit televisions when placed in public areas, give people a sense of security, reduce crime by up to five percent. Up to ninety percent of respondents saw no problem in having such surveillance in public areas. Surveillance done in the above manner, by the correct agencies, can be said to be ethical and legal. On the other hand, we can seek to look at the ethics of surveillance cameras, by looking at who does it and for what they will be used to do, therefore the ethics of surveillance cameras. Ethics is defined by the BBC online, as a system of moral principles. This is what is good for the individual and society, therefore is responsible for holding the society together.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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