Closed Circuit Television Promotes Social Inequality and Control

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Closed Circuit Television Promotes Social Inequality and Control In recent years there has been a growing trend involving the use of closed circuit television cameras. Many businesses are using these cameras to monitor shoppers large metropolitan areas have started using these systems to view people in public areas.These cameras can be extremely small and are often hardly noticeable. But few people it seems have stopped to consider the possible impacts these cameras have on our lives. And it is the negative consequences that may very well outweigh any of the potential benefits. Currently there are no adequate laws regulating the use of such cameras, and it is unlikely that without public outcry that there will be any instituted. Both the United States Congress as well as the Supreme Court have been decidedly silent on this issue. Due to the conservative nature of both of these institutions our personal liberties will most likely continue to be of secondary importance to social control interests. The main argument for the use of closed circuit television is, of course, our protection or safety. The benefit comes by making the consumers feel more secure while they shop. This in turn allows them to purchase more which directly helps the business. This may appear to be successful from a business perspective, but it cannot hope to solve the root issue of our social problems. All it can do is mask the fact that our society has these such problems. Until the basis of these problems are addressed they cannot be solved, and they will only continue to get worse. By ignoring these problems we can only aggravate them. The fourth amendment to the U.S. Constitution is very explicit in guaranteeing our protection ... ... middle of paper ... ...nter productive things as eating or taking bathroom breaks. What is needed to eliminate the threats posed by c.c.t.v. use is a means of making the system accountable to the public. The surveillers need to be held responsible for what this information is used for. It is essential that we prevent such a powerful tool of social control from being used almost exclusively for economic benefit. Without democratic oversight of surveillance technologies such as c.c.t.v., we remain at the whims and desires of those operating the systems. It is naive to think that if we don’t challenge each instance of such social control that the situation will improve. More likely is that each step we take towards a police state that goes unchallenged will allow for each subsequent step to take place. And after each step it becomes increasingly difficult to reverse the trend.

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