The proliferation of security cameras has been greeted with both praise and apprehension around the nation. The fear of encroachment on privacy and the erosion of civil liberties temper the undeniable benefits brought by surveillance technology to law enforcement. As technological advances bring us smaller, cheaper cameras and listening devices, these concerns will undoubtedly multiply.
The city of Chicago has recently placed cameras in certain “high-crime” areas, purportedly to assist members of the police force in identifying and apprehending criminal elements. Little discussion has taken place, however, about the effects that this surveillance will have on the law-abiding citizens that call these areas home. Do these citizens consider increased crime-fighting capability to be worth giving up a measure of their freedom from government intrusion? Were they asked?
Are the cameras being used as a substitute for adequate officers in some African-American and Latino neighborhoods? Could this technology be used to create more accountability for the police officers’ actions? How reliable is the footage in terms of facial recognition?
Join us at this week’s Café Society to discuss the place of technology in society and what is and is not acceptable in our increasingly connected world.
This Week’s Articles:
- Chicago Moving to ‘Smart’ Surveillance Cameras
- Public Area Surveillance and Police Work
- On Chicago streets, cameras are watching
- The Birth of Surveillance Society
- CCTV and (In)dividuation
For more informaiton, please contact Kristin Millikan at 312.422.5580.