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Pros and Cons of CCTV Cameras in India


  1. This article discusses the significance and concerns regarding the use of  CCTV cameras by the government.


  1. India’s CCTV camera coverage has grown rapidly over the years. Today, Delhi and Chennai have more cameras per square mile than cities in China.
  2. States argue that CCTV cameras reduce crime, and the public finds the presence of these cameras reassuring.
  3. In a survey conducted by Lokniti-Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in August 2022 in 12 States, more than three-fourths of the respondents supported installing CCTV cameras at the entrance of their homes.
  4. However, surveillance using CCTV by the government in India is a topic of concern for various reasons.

Role of CCTV Cameras in Fighting Crime:

  1. The presence of CCTV cameras can act as a deterrent to potential criminals by making them aware that they are being watched and recorded.
  2. CCTV footage can be used as valuable evidence in criminal investigations and trials, providing clear and irrefutable proof of criminal activity.
  3. They can help prevent crimes from occurring in the first place by allowing law enforcement to monitor high-risk areas and respond quickly to any suspicious activity.
  4. In crowded public places like markets, malls and railway stations, CCTV cameras can help authorities manage and control crowds, ensuring public safety.
  5. They can be used to monitor traffic flow and identify any congestion or accidents, helping to improve traffic management and reduce accidents.
  6. CCTV cameras can help emergency services respond more quickly and efficiently to incidents such as fires, natural disasters and terrorist attacks.
  7. They can be used to monitor public transport, ensuring the safety of passengers and identifying any criminal activity on board.


  1. The use of CCTV cameras by the government raises concerns about privacy violations of citizens. It is important to strike a balance between the need for security and the right to privacy.
  2. The widespread use of this technology could lead to a culture of surveillance, in which citizens feel constantly monitored and their privacy is compromised.
  3. There are also concerns about the accuracy of facial recognition technology and the potential for false positives, which could result in innocent people being mistakenly identified as criminals.
  4. The government may not be transparent about the use of CCTV cameras, and citizens may not be aware of their rights or the extent to which they are being monitored.
  5. There is a possibility that the use of CCTV cameras could lead to bias and discrimination, especially against marginalized communities.
  6. The installation and maintenance of CCTV cameras can be expensive, and there is a risk that taxpayers’ money may be wasted if the cameras are not used effectively.
  7. The effectiveness of CCTV cameras in reducing crime is still a matter of debate. There are multiple studies in the U.K. which show that there is no connection between CCTV cameras and the reduction of crime.
  8. CCTV cameras can be vulnerable to cyberattacks, and if they are not secured properly, the footage could be compromised.

Poor regulation:

  1. Societal demands drove the implementation of surveillance systems, with CCTVs being primarily pushed from a women’s safety angle and the Mumbai attacks serving as a catalyst.
  2. The experimentation with technology was part of the modernization of policing infrastructure in India.
  3. However, there is no law in India regulating the collection, processing, storage, or sharing of surveillance data.
  4. There is no specific law or standard operating procedure governing the use of facial recognition technology by police departments in India.
  5. There is no oversight committee or mechanism for citizens to file complaints against the police in case of civil rights violations related to the use of surveillance technologies.
  6. While laws are in place to protect citizens, national security is often cited as an excuse for not regulating state surveillance.