Last updated: September 14, 2019
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This essay explores the deductions of the usage of Closed Circuit Television ( CCTV ) cameras, a common counterterrorism surveillance step, on the single privateness. It begins by supplying philosophical and legal positions on the impression of privateness. It so establishes the function of surveillance in counterterrorism and describes the CCTV for that intent. It presents possible societal results ensuing from the usage of surveillance devices. It concludes that achieving a healthy balance in the usage of surveillance devices and the protection of privateness requires a multiple attack affecting all stakeholders.


While most people might understand that, the private sphere is separate from the populace and authorities, and that Torahs protect that sphere from invasion ; few introspect on the importance of keeping the unity of the private sphere. Society seems to hold relegated this type of mental exercising to the philosophers and academias. Yet it is of import for the ordinary adult male to understand the argument about privateness from a philosophical position because it has deductions non merely for democracy and civil rights but besides for one ‘s self-hood and humanity. Persuasive politicians can show information in most convincing ways and legalese heads can happen loopholes in the Torahs. Fortunes may so name for some forfeits of personal freedoms. However, when people have a philosophical apprehension of privateness, the issues could go clearer.

History shows that our impressions of privateness alterations. This implies a demand for watchfulness on incremental alterations that frequently go unnoticed until person begins taking a historical position.

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Hannah Arendt described the private sphere within the context of the polis, the metropolis of the ancient Greeks. The citizens of ancient Greeks considered the public domain the domain of equality and the private domain, which is the family or place, as the sphere of inequality. In those yearss, non-participation in public life was comparable to non being able to research one ‘s human potencies. Therefore, ancient Greece associated privateness with want. With clip, the construct of privateness changed. Tyrants, feudal Godheads, and totalitarians invaded the populace sphere decreasing the freedom in it. The private domain became the sphere of freedom. As the populace sphere expanded, the private domain decreased and became the ego. Harmonizing to Arendt ( 1958, pp. 58-70 ) , the intent of privateness include a guaranteed infinite for contemplation, the constitution of individuality, and the saving of the sacred and cryptic infinites of life.

Schneider ( 1987, p. 195 ) relates privateness to self-respect. Our shame prompts us to protect our privateness, which in bend allows us to continue our award. Shame is critical to our humanity because it besides tells us that our attitudes and actions are non acceptable even to ourselves. Similarly, Milton Konvitz ( as cited in DeCew, 1997, p. 11 ) referred to the scriptural description of Adam and Eve ‘s shame when they partook of the out fruits of the Tree of Knowledge. He points out that albeit mythically, our godly nature somehow relates with the private kingdom. The relevancy of shame and privateness to the topic of the paper becomes apparent when one considers that go againsting privateness would besides devalue shame, adult male ‘s moral trigger. Even animate beings value their privateness. Alan Westin, an carnal behaviourist, observed that even animate beings seek periods of single privacy “ to advance good being and little group familiarity ” ( as quoted in DeCew, 1997, p. 12 ) . Westin introduced four provinces of privateness: namelessness, modesty, purdah, and familiarity. He besides identified the map of privateness to be personal bureau, emotional release, self-evaluation, and limited and confidential communicating ( “ Privacy – The Psychological… ) .


Legally, legion international conventions declare the rights of persons to privateness. Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 17 of the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and Articles 16 and 40 of the Covenant on the Rights of the Child are expressed in giving persons the right to privateness and it protection under the jurisprudence ( United Nations, 1997 ) . Member states that ratify these conventions have or should hold domestic Torahs that operationalize the commissariats of the conventions.

In the US, the legal right to privateness has footing in federal and province fundamental laws, common jurisprudence of civil wrongs, and statutory Torahs. Choice of the appropriate jurisprudence and or stature depends on fortunes and who is making the “ invading ” ( Woodward, 2002, p. 2 ) .

The interrupting down of privateness into dimensions reflects the complexness of the privateness issue and the legalese attack to its protection. The dimensions of privateness are physical organic structure, communicating, information, territorial, and image. Bodily privateness refers to pull out or observed informations associating to the physical organic structure. Communication privateness relates to the freedom of address or silence. Information privateness refers to textual and numerical informations of identifiable persons. Territorial refers to infinites and countries. Image privateness refers to ocular representations such as exposures and video cuttings. ( Lyon, 2007, p. 175 )

Counterterrorism, Surveillance and CCTV

The preventative nature of counterterrorism requires that constabulary and military units tasked with the duty for counterterrorism have good intelligence, the ability to expect the actions of suspected or confirmed terrorists originating from analysis of intelligence, and the ability to respond instantly. Good intelligence, which requires surveillance, is hence a critical success factor in antagonistic terrorist act.

Although the term “ surveillance ” is normally associated with the armed forces, it is non sole to it. Broadly and traditionally, surveillance is the “ systematic observation of aerospace, surface, or subsurface countries, topographic points, individuals or things by ocular, electronic, photographic or other agencies ” ( US Department of Defense, 2005 ) . Using this context as footing, surveillance is something research workers, selling people, public wellness functionaries, and political personalities do. They merely name it another name.

Ericson & A ; Haggerty, ( 2006, p. 3 ) nevertheless describe surveillance as “ affecting the aggregation and analysis of information about populations in order to regulate their activities ” . This definition expands the general definition and gives surveillance a intent to pull strings and command or steer. It besides alludes to the user of surveillance as holding power over the population being monitored. This definition is more consistent with the apprehensiveness some people have sing CCTV. Within this new definition ‘s context, surveillance is a critical variable in the rise of state provinces and a “ new orderof planetary capitalist economy ” or the alleged “ society of control ” ( Giles Deleuze as quoted in Ericson & A ; Haggerty, p. 4 ) .

Surveillance technolgies operate through procedures of “ disassembling and piecing ” , whereby engineerings breakdown people into

a series of distinct information which are stabilized and captured harmonizing to pre-established categorization standards. They are so transported to a centralized location to be reassembled and combined in ways that serve institutional docket. ( Ericson & A ; Haggerty, 2006, p. 4 )

That is, the information is being stored for possible long and short-run retrieval, integrating, combination, and coordination with assorted systems and constituents.

CCTV as Surveillance Devise

Closed Circuit Television ( CCTV ) is one of the commonly used electronic surveillance equipments used in advanced states. In the United Kingdom, which is one of the most covered states in Europe, has some 4 million CCTV systems. Most literature on the argument refers to the UK ‘s usage of CCTV. Although CCTV has multiple utilizations, British jurisprudence enforcement bureaus use it to turn to aberrant societal behaviour, and look intoing street offenses albeit some have questioned its effectivity in bring forthing grounds. ( Robinson et al, 2010, p. 18 ) . In general, CCTV has possible application for offense bar, offense sensing as it occurs, post event analysis, public safety, and antagonistic terrorist act.

CCTV is an illustration of the surveillance engineerings that Ericson and Haggerty described. Its gathering consists of a picture camera that may hold tilt and rapid climb capablenesss, digital recording devices, audio monitoring. They may even hold biometries that allows facial characteristic comparing with the characteristics of felons and terrorists in the databases. Its consistent usage consequences to increased visibleness and monitoring of people or populations. Users for the engineering may find a group ‘s surveillance profile and effort to pull strings and command that group. ( Ericson & A ; Haggerty, 2006, p. 6 ) .

The CCTV may hence hold the capablenesss to go against all dimensions of privateness. It monitors environment and persons, may listen in to conversation if it is equipped with audio monitoring, may associate with a databases to garner personal information if it has biometric capablenesss, may occupy private infinite if it has whizzing capablenesss, and may capture images as stills or video cartridge holders.

Social Outcomes

Ericson & A ; Haggerty ( 2006, p.6 ) identified three types of societal results from the usage of surveillance engineerings: unintended effects, stakeholders ‘ political relations, and political relations of opposition. The unintended effects relates to the manner people adapt to their environment and incremental alterations. It may affect the development of totalitarian controls, misdemeanor of privateness, creative activity of new signifiers of unfairnesss, and deficiency of mechanisms for answerability.

Stakeholders ‘ political relations of surveillance refers to attempts to command the volume ( size and extent ) and constellation of surveillance. Stakeholders include the lawgivers, who can forbid, modulate, or make nil about it ; users such as the constabulary and the military ; privateness advocates ; and civil libertarians, and institutional representatives. Although there are many dimensions of stakeholders political relations, Ericson & A ; Haggerty ( 2006, p. 8 ) focused on protection of privateness rights, effectivity, engineering, individuality mistakes, and map creeps.

Resistance political relations refers to “ localized attempts to acquire by in the face of monitoring: to queer a peculiar system, to populate anonymously within its regard or to prosecute in any figure of misdirection gambit ” ( Ericson & A ; Haggerty, 2006, p. 20 ) . Resistance scheme include exchanging, barricading, falsifying, piggy-backing, find, turning away, refusal, cover, interrupting, co-operation and counter-surveillance ( Ericson & A ; Haggerty, 2006, p. 20 ) . The persons who engage in opposition political relations are themselves normally knowing in the engineerings and therefore able to hedge and resists them. For illustration, smearing clay on licence home base or utilizing platic screens that block exposure radio detection and rangings is a manner of defying surveilance devices.

Protection of privateness rights may seek to forestall misdemeanors and or seek legal claims for misdemeanors of privateness. Assuming the being of Torahs protecting privateness, prosecuting legal channels would nevertheless be hard when applied to CCTV. Foremost, CCTV cameras are normally located in public spheres when used by jurisprudence enforcement, and within the spheres of establishments and concerns when placed by private histrions. The spheres are public. Second, these jurisprudence enforcement bureaus and private establishments protect informations gathered from CCTV and other surveillance devices because there are privacy Torahs. Under normal fortunes, persons “ captured ” by surveillance devices would hold no manner of cognizing what facets of their public activities have been “ captured ” by the devise.

Preventing the usage of CCTV to go against privateness, deliberately or accidentally, may interpret to censoring or modulating its usage. True, the impression of flinging an already available engineering with purported multiple utilizations because there are hazards of abuse and maltreatment is non a rational and practical thought. More so, when one considers that felons and terrorists could be technologically equipped. Institutions and people counterterrorism responsible for jurisprudence enforcement and counterterrorism need the advantage that engineering could supply.

One would besides necessitate to turn out that the engineering is uneffective. That is, it does non lend to its purported utilizations. Assuming that one is able to bring forth the empirical groundss, turn outing the engineering ineffective would merely motivate maker to better their R & A ; D so their merchandise could be effectual. Ericson & A ; Haggerty ( 2006, p. 13 ) noted that “ more effectual ” merchandises may besides interpret to more intrusive 1s.

If one is to accept that the CCTV and other surveillance engineerings are “ here to state, ” the best option would be ordinance. Regulation may interpret to specifying who may utilize CCTV, run it, hold entree to data it gathers, and how they should utilize informations gathered. CCTV is inanimate. By itself, it is harmless. The possible for injury comes from how operators handle informations gathered by the devices and how institutional histrions integrate CCTV informations with other systems and constituents. Operators could misapply CCTV by voyeuristic monitoring. Norris and Armstrong ( 1999 as cited in Ericson & A ; Haggerty, 2006, p. 15 ) provide grounds of voyeurism by British CCTV operators. Below are two illustrations of abuse and maltreatment of CCTV and or surveillance devices.

Example 1: A friend who once worked as a security officer in a business district Toronto office composite recounts how the preponderantly male CCTV camera operators passed the clip by size uping and judging the adult females they monitored on their screens, whizzing in on legs, chests or other organic structure parts that caught their fancy. Particularly titillating incidents were on occasion recorded, with videotapes being traded across displacements much like playing cards. ( Ericson & A ; Haggerty, 2006, p.15 )

Example 2: A November 1997 article in the Washington Post reported that District of Columbia constabularies officers were involved in the pattern of blackjacking outstanding work forces and adult females who were homophiles but kept their sexual orientation a secret. This pattern was known as “ fairy shaking. ” The officers would near the persons, and extort money from the victims under the menace of public exposure. The officers involved included high-level members of the DC constabulary section, and exposure of the instance resulted in the surrender of the constabulary head. This extortion was made possible by supervising bars that catered to homophiles and by questioning the motor vehicles license databases to find the proprietors of autos geting at the bars. ( Electronic Privacy Information Center )

The foregoing abuse and maltreatment show the demand for jurisprudence enforcement bureaus and security sections to develop moralss in surveillance, screen and develop their operators, and implement mechanisms for guaranting that operators and users respect the individualism and privateness of people CCTV proctors. This become a existent job in states where jurisprudence enforcement deficiency professionalism. The illustrations besides show that the potency for maltreatment and abuse will ever be present because human existences operate and utilize these engineerings. Worlds are fallible.


Misdemeanor of privateness is merely one of many issues related to the usage of surveillance engineerings. Likewise, CCTV is merely one type of surveillance devices. Baning the production and usage of CCTV will non take the menace to privateness because other engineerings besides threaten privateness. Baning the production and usage of all engineerings that threaten privateness is every bit paranoid as desiring to supervise people ‘s activities all the clip. The engineerings are here to remain. The felons and the terrorists have entree to these engineerings. Not giving the constabulary and counterterrorist bureaus the same entree would be puting them at a great disadvantage.

Regulations, preparation, and the ingraining of surveillance moralss among authorised users could turn to possible abuse and maltreatment of CCTV to go against privateness. Regulations nevertheless may non be able to turn to unintended societal effects of a surveillance-oriented society. If one relates unintended effects to dishonor, privateness, and moral consciousness, one may see or spot that acquaintance to the presence of CCTV or surveillance devices in one ‘s environment has the potency of desensitising people to the all right boundaries between the private and public spheres. While we could merely speak of potencies, we could besides see groundss of decreasing impressions of privateness in the poster of online journals, world Television, web cameras in the sleeping room, and the poster of exposures in Facebook that older coevals would probably depict as inappropriate. However, these tendencies are the societal results of many variables, of which surveillance may or may non be one. Decidedly, the credence of information engineerings such as computing machines and cyberspace is one of the contributing variables. One could state that decreasing impressions of privateness are brooding of the generational development of values and attitudes. However, decreasing impressions of privateness are besides brooding of one ‘s province of consciousness and morality.

Criminalism and terrorist act are societal and political results in themselves. If one is to accept the behaviouristic impression that environments breed felons and terrorists, so the appropriate focal point of plans that seek to advance peace and order should logically be in the creative activity of environments that develops persons ‘ local, national, and international citizenships. This is non within the authorization of jurisprudence enforcement and counterterrorism bureaus to turn to entirely. It is a corporate duty that begins with common regard for single differences and private infinites, where people could contemplate and detect their Self-hood. When persons are in touch with the Self, their impressions of right and incorrect become clearer.


The issue of CCTV vs. Privacy is non a simple one. There is a demand for jurisprudence enforcement and counterterrorism bureaus to utilize surveillance devices merely as there is a demand for persons to protect their privateness. Since CCTV is merely one of many surveillance devices with the potency of go againsting privateness, censoring it would non likely reference issues sing privateness. The challenge of keeping a healthy balance between the appropriate usage of surveillance devices by jurisprudence enforcement/counterterrorism bureaus and the protection of single privateness demands multiple attacks affecting all stakeholders. On the portion of lawgivers, there is a demand to modulate the usage of surveillance devices and hold surveillance informations users accountable. On the portion of surveillance device operators and users of surveillance informations, there is a demand to self-regulate and self enforce some signifier of moralss in surveillance. On the portion of persons in society, there is a demand to reevaluate their boundaries and exercising attention in protecting and continuing their private spheres.