The Disadvantages of CCTV Cameras

Written by simon fuller
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The Disadvantages of CCTV Cameras
The appearance of CCTV cameras often makes people worry about their privacy. (cctv image by Andrius Grigaliunas from Fotolia.com)

CCTV cameras---surveillance equipment installed to monitor and record people's activities---have appeared in locations including university campuses, school buildings, shopping malls and even in bus stations. While CCTV systems can prove to be a deterrent to crime and help in evidence gathering, these cameras aren't always too popular with members of the public. The various disadvantages associated with CCTV surveillance have prompted some organisations and political parties to criticise their use, as noted by the View London website.

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Incompatibility

CCTV systems, like all technology, are evolving all of the time. This means that as new systems replace older models, the result is often a mix of both modern and old cameras, which can lead to incompatibilities between systems, as noted by the View London website. Older cameras might also produce low-quality footage if continued to be used---footage that might not be accepted by a court in the event of a criminal trial.

Inaccuracy

A CCTV camera can be very useful in attaining evidence of crime, but the technology isn't perfect. The camera might miss details; for example, a concealed weapon which isn't immediately visible on a person might not show up on CCTV footage. Also, a CCTV camera might not catch all activity thanks to its position, since as noted by the Rohan SDSU website, CCTV cameras can be sensitive to hostile weather and so are generally installed in sheltered or indoor locations.

Privacy

CCTV cameras constantly monitor the activities of people working and living in a location. This fact alone upsets people, since many of us simply don't like our privacy being invaded, regardless of the reason why the CCTV equipment is there. What's more, installing a CCTV camera in the wrong place could lead to a privacy violation, as suggested by the Video Surveillance Guide website. So property managers should make sure they're not incurring any legal risks before setting up CCTV equipment.

Expense

CCTV cameras aren't cheap to install, and if a property manager or owner is considering equipping a whole building with a sufficient amount of surveillance equipment, he's looking at quite a hefty bill. Once bought, CCTV cameras must also be installed correctly by experts and monitored regularly, all of which drives the cost up. This total cost can stretch the budget of institutions such as schools.

Sensitivity

Most CCTV cameras are installed out of the reach of humans, but sometimes a camera can still get damaged; it's not impossible to imagine an individual going out of her way to damage a camera, for example. As noted by the Rohan SDSU website, CCTV equipment is sensitive to knocks and can malfunction if interfered with in this way. In the interval between the damage occurring and the camera being replaced, activities may not be recorded by the affected camera.

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