There are many people who feel that surveillance has gone too far. No matter where you are, or what you’re doing, it doesn’t really matter how much surveillance there is. If you’re outside, especially in a big city, there’s a high chance that your movements will be recorded.
Surveillance cameras have made cities safer. They capture various crimes, from theft to vandalism and assault. This allows the police to arrest the criminals faster and more easily.
Many people are uncomfortable with the fact their actions are being watched, even if they don’t think of committing any crimes. Some even go so far as to label surveillance cameras an Orwellian invasion on the privacy that everyone should have.
Walter Bruch, a German engineer, created the first surveillance cameras. They were installed in Germany by Siemens AG in 1942 to monitor V-2 rocket launches. Vericon was the first closed-circuit commercial television system in the United States. It was introduced in 1949.
Because there was no way to store or record information at that time, the first video surveillance systems required human monitoring. In the 1970s VCR technology was made available. This enabled the recording and erasing of information to be possible, making video surveillance more practical and common.
Olean, New York, was the first American city to have video cameras installed along its main street. This was in an effort to combat crime in 1968. In 1973, cameras were also installed in Times Square, New York City, a few years later. Video surveillance became more common in public places throughout the country during the 1980s. Surveillance cameras were also installed in places that are more susceptible to theft, like banks and stores. New York City had 3,000 CCTV systems in 1998.
Surveillance cameras are used today for traffic safety, transport safety, control over retail, and home and school security. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, video surveillance became more popular in public places to prevent future terrorist attacks. Chicago had more than 10,000 CCTV systems in 2010, and that number is growing. Greater London has an even greater number, with approximately 500,000 cameras and the total UK numbering to 4,200,000.
Surveillance day was established several years ago in order to allow us all to take a step back from serious issues and have a little fun.
As we have already mentioned, surveillance cameras have been criticised for enforcing excessive government and authority control and depriving citizens of their privacy. They are a strong argument for their use, however, because of the positive impact they can have on society as a whole.
Surveillance Day is a day to have fun with your cameras and wave at the trains. It’s easy to have fun with the cameras despite all the difficulties facing the world. The person watching the recordings will probably find themselves laughing too. It’s a great way to cheer up the world, even if it’s just for a second!
The Surveillance Day was renamed Wave At The Surveillance Cameras Day on July 2, 2018.