Do Security Cameras Invade Privacy?

監視カメラ

Do security cameras invade privacy?

“This is the security footage of the smoking gun to arrest the culprit”. You may sometimes hear this phrase in daily news. Amid growing concern about the safety in Japan, security cameras have been expected to be a decisive factor in solving a crime and to be deterrence .

In 2010, the Kanagawa prefectural police investigated the effectiveness of security cameras in the around east entrance at the Kawasaki station where there have been numerous crime reports. In fact, after security cameras were installed, the number of crimes declined by 30%. It is clear that security cameras help protect citizens to some degree.

On the other hand, some people think that having a lot of security cameras in a society is a problem. Yasuhiko Tajima is professor of the media law, department of journalism in Sophia university, and a member of Campaign Against Surveillance Society. He said that the 9/11 terrorist attacks contributes to this situation. He emphasized that many security cameras have been installed without thorough consideration, based upon assumption that they protect us. He pointed out the risk of privacy violation.

In order to solve this dilemma, security camera companies are trying to improve the performance of security cameras. Mr. Masakazu Kuroiwa, who belongs to the business department of SECURE talks about high-ability of security cameras. Security cameras have a function called privacy masking which can blur areas of the image, such as private houses.

The kind of CCTV, a network system, is used for security cameras while BCTV is used for broadcasting. Mr.Kuroiwa emphasized that security cameras are “closed cameras”. CCTV stands for “closed circuit television”: Recorded images only remain within the network, so documented information will not be leaked at all. The prevention of privacy violation depends on whether confidentiality is protected or not

Security cameras have an advantage of projecting “smoking gun”but it could be a tool to violate privacy. To demonstrate its effectiveness, security camera providers needto make effort to prevent the exposure of privacy, when managing CCTV network system.

Written by Tatsuki Yokosawa

Edited by Hazuki Nakamori

 Japanese Version

Postscript

When I began to this article, I surely think security camera is a tool to protect us from crimes, but I cannot deny it may violate privacy. Interviewing from various angle, I noticed security camera providers consider privacy violation and thoroughly manage security cameras. This effort to prevent privacy violation helps protect citizens. (Tatsuki Yokosawa)


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