Pros and Cons of CCTV Cameras in India
- This article discusses the significance and concerns regarding the use of CCTV cameras by the government.
- 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.
- States argue that CCTV cameras reduce crime, and the public finds the presence of these cameras reassuring.
- 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.
- However, surveillance using CCTV by the government in India is a topic of concern for various reasons.
Role of CCTV Cameras in Fighting Crime:
- The presence of CCTV cameras can act as a deterrent to potential criminals by making them aware that they are being watched and recorded.
- CCTV footage can be used as valuable evidence in criminal investigations and trials, providing clear and irrefutable proof of criminal activity.
- 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.
- In crowded public places like markets, malls and railway stations, CCTV cameras can help authorities manage and control crowds, ensuring public safety.
- They can be used to monitor traffic flow and identify any congestion or accidents, helping to improve traffic management and reduce accidents.
- CCTV cameras can help emergency services respond more quickly and efficiently to incidents such as fires, natural disasters and terrorist attacks.
- They can be used to monitor public transport, ensuring the safety of passengers and identifying any criminal activity on board.
- 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.
- The widespread use of this technology could lead to a culture of surveillance, in which citizens feel constantly monitored and their privacy is compromised.
- 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.
- 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.
- There is a possibility that the use of CCTV cameras could lead to bias and discrimination, especially against marginalized communities.
- 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.
- 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.
- CCTV cameras can be vulnerable to cyberattacks, and if they are not secured properly, the footage could be compromised.
- 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.
- The experimentation with technology was part of the modernization of policing infrastructure in India.
- However, there is no law in India regulating the collection, processing, storage, or sharing of surveillance data.
- There is no specific law or standard operating procedure governing the use of facial recognition technology by police departments in India.
- 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.
- While laws are in place to protect citizens, national security is often cited as an excuse for not regulating state surveillance.