ARE YOU BEING WATCHED?

CCTV has been around for quite some time and become a valuable asset for law enforcement investigations. However, it has come under scrutiny for the ethical issues it raises. The main argument among those opposed to CCTV is that it will inspire discontent through the public, as well as limit or have a disastrous effect on free speech and activity. We can’t argue about the good that CCTV has done, but are these surveillance devices becoming too intrusive on our everyday lives?

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WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT? By nolifebeforecoffee (CC BY 2.0)

For sometime now, CCTV has provided answers to questions that law enforcement investigations have been asking. Notorious cases such as the murders of James Bulger and more recently Jill Meagher have lead investigators to the perpetrators by footage captured on these surveillance devices. Janine Little states that the footage recorded of Jill Meagher’s last moments with help from social media advocation became ‘instrumental in organising thousands of protestors for the rallies in Melbourne to memorialise Jill Meagher’ (Little 2015, p. 401). Little continues by saying the online protesting that followed can be seen as ‘joining in a collective type of criminal investigation’ into the Victorian Justice System’ (Little 2015, p. 401), which some could argue led to harsher penalties for paroled criminals.

Now, as a person of the public I can completely see how CCTV can be seen as an invasion of privacy or as a potential hindering of our free speech. The idea that ‘Big Brother’ is always watching is scary. Knowing that we don’t have anything to hide, but that someone is watching our every move is enough to inspire paranoia. But if these cameras are making me feel paranoid as someone who has nothing to hide, imagine the pressure it is putting on (potential) criminals who are about to commit a crime.

It’s almost like the effect of the panopticon, the idea that we are being watched at all times will make us behave or stay in line.

panopticon

Inside one of the prison buildings at Presidio Modelo, Isla de la Juventud, Cuba. By I, Friman. (CC BY SA 3.0)

We’ve seen the positives of these cameras, but are they doing any harm to society?

Is our own personal privacy truly only limited to our homes or as Benjamin J. Goold states, do we ‘surrender any expectation of privacy when we step out onto the street?’ (Goold 2002, p. 22). Goold delves into the idea that privacy is a civil liberty and by having these CCTV cameras, we could potentially be breaching our own right to privacy.

I recently tweeted out an article about a mother who spotted a CCTV camera in a local swimming pool’s change room.

She raised the point that the camera wasn’t ‘needed in the changing area – they always have staff on duty at the desk.’ (Evening telegraph, 2017), the thing is though, if anything tragic or disastrous WAS to happen in those change rooms, the public would be begging for higher measures of security to be taken.

I think for the public to be kept safe and for society to continue to evolve and cooperate with one another, we need to accept the fact that our privacy may not be our’s anymore. There are sacrifices we need to make to ensure that we are kept safe and to ensure the privacy we have, is protected.

Keep an eye out!

Aaron. 🙂

Word Count: 522. (Not including references or images).

References:

Author Unknown, 2017. ‘CONCERN AS CCTV FILMS FOLK IN CHANGING ROOMS AT PUBLIC SWIMMING POOL IN DUNDEE’, Evening Telegraph UK. Date accessed, August 1st 2017. Available online: https://www.eveningtelegraph.co.uk/fp/concern-cctv-films-folk-changing-rooms-public-swimming-pool-dundee/

Goold, B, 2002. ‘Privacy Rights and Public Spaces: CCTV and the Problem of the “Unobservable Observer”‘, Criminal Justice Ethics, Winter/SpringPP. 21-22. Available online: http://eds.a.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=10&sid=0749ebd7-f21b-47e2-bfb7-a604b5400c8f%40sessionmgr4010

Little, J, 2015. ‘Jill Meagher CCTV gothic tendencies in narratives of violence and gender justice’, Taylor & Francis. PP. 400-402. Available online: http://dro.deakin.edu.au/view/DU:30065659

 

 

 

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15 thoughts on “ARE YOU BEING WATCHED?

  1. Hi Aaron, I enjoyed reading your blog. I thought you raised some good points and had relevant sources to back up your points. The images you used were appropriate and lent weight to your contentions. While your blog flowed well and was easy to read, maybe in the future if you could just proofread it a little more thoroughly, you could weed out the spelling error in your first paragraph, where ‘opposed has been spelt as ‘apposed’. Also in your last paragraph it looks like you have used the word ‘insure’ a couple of times instead of ‘ensure’. I thought your tweets were used well, particularly the second one about the CCTV in the swimming pool change room, which you used to demonstrate both sides of the debate on the issue. Overall I thought you did a good job.
    Cheers Izzy

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Aaron,

    I enjoyed reading your post! 🙂 Interesting points on your thought about CCTV. I definitely agree that CCTV can invade our privacy, however, I feel a lot safer knowing that there are CCTV’s around as well. It really does make us behave differently when we know we are being watched. Also liked the photos you have used for your blog post!

    Just picked up a few things while I was reading! Hope they can help 🙂

    It will definitely be good if you could find some interactivity for your blog post. Or maybe make a short video related to your blog post?
    Don’t forget to put the reference list in alphabetical order!
    Also, you can put the hyperlink on the photos you are using!
    For your creative commons image reference don’t forget to make the title of the photo in Italics.

    Jamie 🙂

    Like

    1. Oops sorry I was supposed to number them!

      Just picked up a few things while I was reading! Hope they can help 🙂

      1) It will definitely be good if you could find some interactivity for your blog post. Or maybe make a short video related to your blog post?
      2) Don’t forget to put the reference list in alphabetical order!
      3) Also you can put the hyperlink on the photos you are using!
      4) For your creative commons image reference don’t forget to make the title of the photo in Italics.

      Jamie 🙂

      Like

      1. Hey Jamie! Just wanna say thanks for comments, really appreciate it.

        Just with my referencing list, i thought I did put it in alphabetical order? Is there any chance you could please tell me exactly which part is wrong.

        Thanks again!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Aaron, I think your blog is heaps better now, there is just one little thing I think would improve it. In your sentence ‘we could be potentially be breaching our own right to privacy.’ I think you can get rid of one of the ‘be’s’. I think if you leave the one out between ‘potentially’ and ‘breaching’ it sounds much better. Read it out loud a couple of times and see what you think. Oh, and just one more thing, and I didn’t know this when I left a comment before, I only found this out from comments someone left on one of my blogs. apparently when we quote we should use single quotation marks, not double ones. I was disbelieving at first because in five years of uni no one had told me that, but I checked the Deakin Style Guide and a couple of other sources, and in Australia we use single quotation marks. Good luck with the rest of the semester.
    Cheers Izzy

    Like

  4. Aaron, this is really good! You explored so many things within the one post though they were well rounded and still stayed in line with your opening question. Having such a broad question can sometimes hinder you content but you were able to illustrate your own ideas and thoughts, scholarly information and perspective through your use of media! *Claps all round* 🙂
    I really like your exemplar and research into the Jill Meagher case. You said so yourself, ‘the idea that ‘Big Brother’ is always watching is scary’ but we can come to appreciate why camera’s are there as opposed to feeling truly alone. I know in the moment I am one to be annoyed that a camera is my only line of defence but putting that into perspective, it makes the addition of cctv cameras all the more significant in society.
    Your use of media really illustrate your writing! I especially like the first image, its as if it continues what you are saying in the sentences prior and following. The images and tweets not only highlight the blog posts content but go further to make it relatable! The inclusion of the tweet of the evening telegraphs story on surveillance leaves us thinking of just how much the CCTV present around us outweighs the complaints and concerns we have for it in the first place!
    One thing I would go back and check is the grammar, just little mistakes. I sound hypocritical seeing as I am one to do this also,\ but just be careful with trying to make a sentence work and repeating words like in this sentence: ‘we could be potentially be breaching our own right to privacy’.
    But overall, a really good read! I’d be proud 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Aaron,
    I found your blog to introduce some interesting perspectives on the pros and cons of CCTV cameras and public surveillance. It was clear to see you had done a significant amount of research on the topic, both scholarly and otherwise. This research provided a solid understanding of some of the conversations that are taking place regarding surveillance, and allowed for a well-balanced argument. I thought the images related well to the discussion and certainly added to the ideas you were presenting. Your use of rhetorical questions also inspired and provoked further consideration of the issue. I do agree that surveillance cameras are there to protect the public and have done a tremendous job in doing so, however, I also believe that the matter of our privacy can’t be overlooked.
    Really enjoyed it, well done!

    Like

  6. Hi Aaron – yep … we are definitely being watched and it scares me for myself and everyone in the future for whom this is a social norm. I have to admit; I don’t personally agree with your assertion that we have to sacrifice privacy in order to be protected but I do appreciate the way you constructed your argument with the use of the Evening Telegraph link in your tweet which was a great way to bolster your argument.

    Your use of Creative Commons images was fantastic – especially the jail. I’d suggest having a look at the way you format references as you could save yourself a few words by restructuring the way you cite in text (as opposed to stating the authors name and then again in the year / page number). Likewise, you could restructure to avoid repeating the same page number of the Little reference in brackets.

    Like

  7. Hi Aaron,

    Your blog post about the effects of a CCTV dominated world speaks volumes to the positives and negatives of the implementation of such technologies. Your integrated choice of images and tweets reinforces your contention of the duplicity between privacy and security throughout and is fittingly thematic. This also helped break up the body of your blog and made it more pleasurable to read and the style of writing keeps me engaged in reading.

    Perhaps you could have eluded to the future of CCTV, what do you think about the possibility of CCTV drones that hover above crowds at concert events?

    Regards,

    Raph.

    Like

  8. Hey man, I think you have raised several important questions in this essay. I especially appreciate the reference to Goold. It helps your post as a whole by promoting awareness towards the two faces of the surveillance society. Adding to the comment by antuuawatson above, it is interesting to see how you ended the post with a, for the lack of a better word, passive attitude towards the surveillance done in your daily life. I personally think there are better ways in which safety can be achieved without breaching privacy (check this out https://aspanational.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/privacy-vs-security/). I think you would benefit from reading more about Bruce Schneier if you are interested in what I this issue. He had said that: “noone feels more secure in a surveillance state”, which I find to be agreeable. Aside from that, I think you managed to create a compelling blog post. You integrated the different medias nicely and I find it easy to understand the arguments you made. I would also suggest proof reading your post to avoid grammatical errors and the like.

    Cheers 🙂

    Like

  9. Hey man, I think you have raised several important questions in this essay. I especially appreciate the reference to Goold. It helps your post as a whole by promoting awareness towards the two faces of the surveillance society. Adding to the comment by antuuawatson above, it is interesting to see how you ended the post with a, for the lack of a better word, passive attitude towards the surveillance done in your daily life. I personally think there are better ways in which safety can be achieved without breaching privacy (check this out https://aspanational.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/privacy-vs-security/). I think you would benefit from reading more about Bruce Schneier if you are interested in this issue. He had said that: “noone feels more secure in a surveillance state”, which I find to be agreeable. Aside from that, I think you managed to create a compelling blog post. You integrated the different medias nicely and I find it easy to understand the arguments you made. I would also suggest proof reading your post to avoid grammatical errors and the like.

    Like

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