In recent years, in the US, and on a global scale, closed circuits television (CCTV) have become the most generalized surveillance model for urban spaces. Its objective is to record the daily activities of people in their transit through the city. In terms of purpose, CCTVs have been transformed, at times, from support devices to the organization of traffic and public safety, into instruments of social and political control.
The modern city is a space where the relationships between individuals are distinguished by an abstract condition, in which everyone could come to be considered as “foreigners”, which ends up giving these relationships a character of transience. The less intense and more abstract social relationships are the feeling of insecurity and danger increases, concentrating more on certain spaces than on others, forming areas that produce fear, suspicion, to the extent that fear and a feeling of risk are generated.
In general, contemporary society is characterized by its constant concern to manage the risks that it produces, creating a series of surveillance devices. A surveillance device is intended to establish a routine focused on the observation of personal details, with the purpose of influencing, managing, caring for and controlling a certain population (or part of it), transforming what is observed into data that, in addition, can be prosecuted.
Today, the development of technology has allowed the emergence of electronic surveillance devices that refine and expand the scrutiny of populations, groups, and individuals. In this sense, social control has become more specialized and technical.
The proliferation of different electronic surveillance devices covers a wide range, from simple metal detectors to scanners, through eye iris recognition systems, thermal sensors, television circuits, which have recently been reinforced with the development of various systems and equipment. They have been linked to confronting problems related to public safety, to reinforce the “battle against crime” or guarantee the establishment of safe spaces in buildings, commercial areas, and residential areas, in such a way that it is always possible to be under surveillance.
Closed circuits television (CCTV) are the ones that have had the greatest expansion on a global scale, and the US is no exception. In most of the capitals of the states of the republic and highly urbanized municipalities, on the busiest streets and crossroads, cameras can be seen that record the movement of pedestrians and vehicles. In addition, it will be necessary to include the CCTV in department stores, banks, and government offices used to monitor clients and workers or, simply, whoever passes through these spaces. The objective of this technology is to reduce the risks faced in different social contexts, such as vehicular traffic, theft, the fall in labor productivity, among others.
The CCTV or video monitoring system will in turn strengthen law enforcement in relation to providing more incontrovertible evidence of criminal acts. In another perspective, an integrated video monitoring system will reduce the risk of crime by providing a greater threat to potential criminals.
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