Cities in China are under the heaviest CCTV surveillance in the world, according to a new analysis by our researchers at Comparitech. However, some residents living in cities across the US, UK, UAE, Australia, and India will also find themselves surrounded by a large number of watchful eyes, as our study of the number of public CCTV cameras in 120 cities worldwide found.
Closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras serve many purposes, ranging from crime prevention to traffic monitoring to observing industrial operations in environments not suitable for humans. The digital age has boosted the prevalence of CCTV surveillance. Cameras are getting better and cheaper, while live video streams can be remotely accessed, stored on the internet, and passed around. The adoption of face recognition technology makes it possible for both public and private entities to instantly check the identity of anyone who passes by a CCTV camera.
Depending on whom you ask, the increased prevalence and capabilities of CCTV surveillance could make society safer and more efficient, could trample on our rights to privacy and freedom of movement, or both. No matter which side you argue, the fact is that live video surveillance is ramping up worldwide.