computer linked cameras are everywhere.. Where do you put the dividing lline between our privacy and the need for effective security for everyone?What is off-limit when it comes to computer...

computer linked cameras are everywhere.. Where do you put the dividing lline between our privacy and the need for effective security for everyone?

What is off-limit when it comes to computer monitoring with digital camera? What North carolina is doing is legal but is it right?

Expert Answers
enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The purpose of government is to safeguard rights.  The problem with the "Expectation of Privacy" argument is that the line continues to be moved away from protecting the individual while expanding the surveillance of government.  Rather than securing "public good," the technology continues to be used to "monitor" behavior; next will come restrictions on an individual's behavior in public. This is not about restricting crime; it's about behavior regulation and the expansion of government in areas it has no business to the detriment of individual rights.  The gathering of information for the state to use when it feels like is wrong; that should only be allowed through a warrant when the state suspects illegal behavior. We may be sadly approaching the day when warrants are irrelevant.  "So what, you may ask, if they monitor me?" There was a time one had an "expectation of privacy" while riding in your car.  Then came license plates.  Now we've gotten to the extreme that if you go one mile per hour over 55 on the highway, it's possible to generate a speeding ticket with no human intervention. " Well, you were doing something wrong," you might argue.  But once the ability to monitor is ubiquitous, be prepared for what we today think of as innocent or harmless actions to not only be monitored, but to be outlawed.  Imagine the fines the state could generate in tickets alone!  Big Brother is monitoring you!

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is, of course,an opinion question so there is no right answer...

In my opinion, having surveillance cameras in public areas (no matter how many cameras) is fine.  As long as the cameras are not pointing in to my house, why should I be bothered.

Legally speaking, when we are out in public we give up any "expectation of privacy."  In other words, we need to act as if anything we do can be observed.  In that case, all the cameras are doing is observing.  As long as I'm commiting no crimes, then of course I don't care if a camera is observing me.  If they want to store my license plate number, thus allowing them to know where I've been, so what?  They'll be pretty bored.

You might say this is the first step towards a police state, but as long as there is a clear line between surveillance in public places and surveillance in places where I have an expectation of privacy, I'm all for the surveillance and the greater security it brings.

Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think the previous post defined the issue well in terms of the expectation of privacy, and so far, this line is respected, at least in terms of the law. Occasionally, we hear of individuals being prosecuted for crossing the line, for example, by installing hidden cameras in restrooms or dressing rooms. Many surveillance systems are in place clearly to promote public safety, such as those found in malls, sports arenas, and airports. Public surveillance is also employed, though, to protect the economic interests of places of business--such as the cameras installed in gambling casinos. Again, this practice does not seem to violate a person's right to privacy since these are public places. We have become so used to being photographed and monitored that most of the time we forget about it entirely and simply carry on. People who review security tapes are constantly amazed by some of the behavior they see.

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I do not have issues with cameras recording me when I am in a public place such as a shopping mall, grocery store, etc. I think it is a bit sad that it has come to this though. Businesses lose a lot of money due to theft. This makes prices go up and the honest consumer is the one who pays the price.

This is a safety issue as well. I feel safer knowing that I am being watched by security cameras when I walking to my car at night when I leave the mall.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The legal concept of "public" vs. "private" is pretty well defined.  It is reasonable to expect that, when we are in public, we are going to be recorded - it's unavoidable for one, and for two - you're in public!  In private, we have the right to record our own property - with exceptions such as showers and restrooms, which constitute a greater violation of personal privacy as opposed to privacy of property.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
This is another example of people giving up privacy for security. Most people argue that cameras are not hurting anyone who's not doing anything wrong. Others say that cameras are too invasive. Cameras are are generally in public areas, such as street corners and ATMs. However they are becoming more common in businesses, schools and private homes. Every day you will be recorded somewhere.
findoutthetruth | Student

These days are truely terrifying, we must join together and stop this tyranic state from occuring. Find out more about the police state at Take action, tell your neighbors, even the ones you don't like, tell everyone, this needs to be heard. We need to act now before it is too late!