Unexpected surveillance use

It is the era which we will not be surprised by the sign “This area is under surveillance”; neither do we be alarmed by the many cameras facing us even though we jolly well know that we are not on the stage. As such, we should also not be taken aback by the presence of these systems in the following places.

CCTV cameras under the sea has to be of low maintenance, without the need for regular cleaning by trained divers yet still provide clear views of what is going on within the targeted area. Coming with the sweeping function which enables algae and other microorganism from growing on the device, the purpose of these cameras revolve around the facilitation of research, marine life conservation, safety of sea resorts, and related surveillance like protection of underwater cables or investigations of ship wreck and oil linkages. Footages are usually sent directly to computers or phones for easy access by authorities.

Surveillance systems are also welcome at particular spots daunted with high suicide rates. For example, a total of 80 cameras were installed at Mumbai’s landmark – Bandra-Worli Sea Link, to prevent individuals from jumping off the bridge. Similarly, in US, studies had found that suicide rates will fall significantly if CCTV cameras are installed at famous suicide spots as committers will think that they are being monitored, which increases the likelihood of third party intervention, and thus re-consider the option of ending their lives. Furthermore, surveillance systems had also successfully helped to prevent individuals from private suicide attempts especially if they are tied in together with self-help groups, alarming them at time of action, so as to take prompt actions in saving lives.

Although installing CCTV cameras in schools remained a controversy, countries like UK, 85% of schools are still being monitored, so as to increase children’s safety by minimizing bullying and prevent weapons from entering the campus etc. To reassure parents and educators, most schools claimed that these cameras are located in areas most susceptible to emergencies and footages will only be reviewed when incidences happened. Indeed, existence of these surveillance systems had helped in preventing school properties from suffering unnecessary damages. For example, stealing of metal pieces off the school roof top or choking of sinks with toilet papers etc. Nevertheless, teachers still bear concerns as they are no longer able to discuss sensitive issues with their students openly in class. Some students also associated these cameras as taking away their freedom because they will be caught for minute discipline fault like not queuing up.

On the other hand, CCTV cameras had played a totally different role in recording of ideal lessons taking place in a class for research studies. In this case, students are fully aware that they are being recorded but unsure when it actually takes place, hence teachers will make cautious mistakes on top of good rehearse of lessons so as to promote students’ thinking and questioning. At the end of the day, these videos will be analyzed to give raise to discussions of the kind of conditions that stimulate students’ questioning and the kind of given responses. Certain CCTV technology also allows audience to have a 360 degree view of the classroom and activities taking place within it, without being there personally. Such system is most welcome by teachers to improve upon their lessons and annual appraisals, while avoiding the possibilities of students acting differently when strangers are present in the class for observations.

Next time, while you are on the street, perhaps it will also be interesting to look up, instead of constant looking down on your mobile and checking of messages. You may not know if the next surveillance camera will appear at the most unexpected corner.

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