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Study Highlights Which Countries Have Highest Surveillance Via CCTV Footage Cameras

SurfShark has recently published it's insights on CCTV coverage across the globe, compiling a list of the most surveilled cities today.

Contemplating the Orwellian nightmares that I'm sure most of us have flashing at the front of our minds, let's consider the parameters of this study. Data acquired from the most populous 130 cities was used to map out how much area was covered by surveillance footage. Cross-analyzing that with the population of these cities, and their crime rate, Surf Shark rattled off the following observations.

The most surveilled countries were listed in a top 10, a list that India and China dominated. Chennai marks our top entry, with CCTV coverage of 657.28 cameras per square kilometer. This is followed by Hyderabad at number 2, marking three entries for India with Delhi at number 8. China marks a whopping 6 entries on the list, with its most surveilled city being Harbin at a coverage of 410.51 cameras/km². The only exception to the India-China prevalence is London, occupying 4th place at 399.27 cameras/km².

Before we go back into our dreary 1987 fears, there are a few factors to consider. The first being that India and China are the most populated countries in the world. The former even has a significant amount of road traffic accidents (RTA), that necessitate extra immobile cameras at traffic junctions. The second factor is the word "immobile". Most of these cameras are rooted to one spot, and rely only on footage as opposed to audio-visual recordings.

TIME magazine spoke with Chinese residents, who further reported that having so much surveillance made them feel secure, akin to a watchful eye. While the sentiment is appreciated, this author fears that it carries slightly troublesome weight, at least as far as the Asian superpower is concerned. It has long been speculated and argued by journalists that China is shifting reliance towards predictive data-gathering algorithms in an attempt to arrest potential culprits before their crimes ever transpire. What's even worrying is that such algorithms can be entirely prejudiced against anti-governmental sentiments, which is a topic the Uyghurs would have a lot to say about if not for their detention camp detainments.

Another worrying concern is that, despite all these measures, extra surveillance doesn't necessarily reduce crime. While they do make people feel safe, as reported above, the introduction of surveillance hasn't really had too big of an impact on crime rates. In fact, it's most important usage revolves around convictions, proving innocence and guilt in courts of law. With all that in mind, how comfortable are we truly with handing so much over to a single governing authority? Especially when there's no one governing them.


H/T: SS.

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