Privacy is one of the rights people living in a democratic country enjoy. They are free to do or think whatever they wish until it does not violate other people’s rights, of course. Therefore, this right is highly valued as the members of a democratic society place the highest value on their freedom. Surveillance is one of the concepts that are often regarded as a threat to the most valuable right people cherish. The opponents of having cameras in public places claim that their freedom to privacy is violated as they are under constant observation. They stress that cameras in public spaces are a feature of a totalitarian country where all people are under complete control of the state. However, surveillance is not aimed at controlling or spying on citizens. It is a potent instrument of law enforcement that ensures people’s safety that, in its turn, is the basis of people’s ability to enjoy their rights fully.
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The main reason behind placing cameras in public places is the state’s wish to locate those who have violated the law or intend to do so. Facial recognition technologies are quite a recent advancement that makes cameras an effective tool. The benefits of the technology have already become apparent. For example, the Boston Marathon bombings were investigated at a high pace, and suspects were located rather soon. The poisoning of people in Salisbury (in Great Britain) is another case that illustrates the efficacy of surveillance since each step of the suspects was traced due to the use of cameras in public places. Such cases are numerous, so the outcomes of surveillance are clear.
Some may still argue that the price is too high as all people are spied on, which violates their right to privacy. The opponents of surveillance may add that instead of punishing criminals, all people’s right to live their private lives is denied. Nevertheless, it is important to note that state agencies try to locate criminals or terrorists and pay no attention to people who follow the existing rules. As mentioned above, facial recognition is the technology that makes this process effective. In addition to the role in investigating crimes, cameras are also utilized as preventive measures. Many people behave in a more socially acceptable way if they believe they are being watched, which contributes substantially to crime prevention. Therefore, the laws and rules are not violated and the democratic principles reign in an environment where people behave in an appropriate way.
In conclusion, it is possible to state that cameras serve as the factors contributing to the establishment of democratic principles and their maintenance. Surveillance prevents many crimes and remains an effective tool for the prompt investigation of crime. All law-abiding people have to tolerate the presence of cameras in order to secure their right to live and feel safe. It is also necessary to remember that people, who have not committed any crime, are not in the lenses of cameras. Socially acceptable behaviors are unnoticed as cameras are utilized to spot specific people with the corresponding records.