Surveillance Technology Review

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Surveillance technology is the monitoring of behavior, activities and for the purpose of protecting people. Surveillance technology was invented to secure the safety of people. It provides security and protection for people from terrorists and crimes in public. Crimes and terrorism have generated significant demand for surveillance technology, in our societies. Surveillance technology comes in many forms, including cameras, biometrics, computers, mobile phones, aerial, data mining, and profiling. These surveillance technologies violate people's privacy by monitoring their every movement and they deny people the right to control the details of their lives. Who should have access to these surveillance technology information? There are many ways that people's personal information can fall into the wrong hands. There are some benefits of have these surveillance technologies in the society. Again, people should have the right to control their movements and activities because, the more surveillance technology there is, the more they lose their rights.

Privacy is the fundamental right of every individual in a society, but with these technologies developing it is hard for one to enjoy her/her private life. The most popular surveillance technology used in our societies nowadays are the CCTV cameras because they monitor the activities of individuals in public places. That can maneuver in tight spaces and could be adapted for surveillance. Robotic bugs are in development, too and engineers at UC Berkeley and Singapore and developing cyborg beetle's real insects that can be remote controlled via implanted electrodes and that might someday pack cameras (Hutson 34). This shows that cameras will be invisible to people in some years to come. These cameras will come in the form of bugs, which can be used to spy on people, which will obviously be taking their right of privacy away. If someone intends to follow your every move, this will be the best option to use. Any device with a camera and the right software could automatically pull up your information. Eventually, someone might be able to point a phone at you and see a bubble over your head marking you as unemployed or recently divorced (Hutson 34). This demonstrates that in the future, there will not be anything like private life because everything will be in the public. Being in this time will be difficult for people to keep things they feel others shouldn't know about them.

Huston states, Constant surveillance law enforcement will have dirt on everyone at which point enforcement will become selective, and likely biased (Hutson 35). This shows that these surveillance technologies are going to pave the way for discrimination in the society. When a person presents their identification card and has a name that people feel threatened by, this person can be discriminated based on that. This also open room for people to be in trouble with the law for the littlest mistake they commit.

In order words, these surveillance technologies have made it easy for others to find out others' information on the internet to either scam or threaten them. Unsecured webcams of all sorts are findable through various search engines, including Google. It is easy to spy on people through the gadgets in their homes-a problem that's likely to grow as more devices are connected to the internet (Hutson 34). These surveillance technologies used on the internet, gives people with bad intentions the ability to trace the movements of individuals, even in their homes. Being on the internet can leave trace on there. People log on Facebook and wonder why the site they bought an item on has appeared on Facebook. This is because the information of the person was being spread among other search engines. By all the devices around us become overwhelming, we'll increasing rely on artificial intelligence to shift through them and make decisions (Hutson 35). This explains more on how technological devices are going to replace human abilities in various ways. When this Artificial Intelligence is programmed to do something, all it wants is to accomplish its purpose, but this technology can go wrong. Humans will have no control over it. For example, when a machine is invented for war or something gets in the wrong hands, this can cause mass destruction.

According to Herbert, Overuse of e-mail and portable communication device contain tracking technology, can intensify work-related stress and anxieties (356). With this form of surveillance technology in the workplaces, it gives the employers the opportunity to have access to employees' email accounts, phone conversations and web practice records. In this situation, employers tend to use whatever they find offensive to their company to fire their employees. Surveillance technology at the workplace does not change employees' behavior for the good, but for the worse.

Employers claim that these technologies are used to ensure safety in the workplace but it are also used to monitor every move of their employees. Much like GPS, RFID is a form of tracking technology that utilizes microchips containing digital identification information to locate property or employees (381). The RDIF may serve as a good purpose when tracking products, but it can also cause problems; when the tags on these items are not removed, they will also track the buyer. The RFID is not only use in tracking products but it's also in credit cards, debit cards, and passports. Since people's personal information are on these, it is easier to track someone when it gets in the wrong hands.

Civilians' privacy is being invaded by these technologies. The portability of the technology in cell phones and other devices can enable an employer to engage in or have access to computer-based real-time location intelligence while an employee is at home, on break, or engaged in non-work related activities while off-duty (Herbert 378). Employers keeping tabs on their employees can lead to lack of trust because they will feel the need to spy and monitor their employees every move. However, the information they may find can be used against them in the future. These surveillance technologies are being abused by people and are not serving the purpose they were meant for but violating others privacy.

In other words, there has been the idea that surveillance technology is made to secure and protect people but, in other aspects, these technologies are invading the privacy of people. Studies shows that security cameras reduce street crime in urban areas, but surveillance also tends to suppress certain types of noncriminal activity, creating a chilling effect on our freedom (Hutson 34). Surveillance technologies are somehow used to keep tabs on civilians. These technologies have not reduced danger or threats around us. There are so many surveillance cameras around but people still commit crimes like robbery, shop lifting, etc. So, why spend money and invade people's privacy for something that has not changed what it was meant for?

Proponents argue that these surveillances will make the society safer for citizens. Sarewitz states, These portable technologies will gather information such as fingerprints, iris scan and facial images and feed them into national database to make rapid identification and threat assessments (546). This shows that surveillance technology is going to eliminate crimes and terrorism threats in the country. These technologies make it easier for authorities to distinguish the bad people from the innocent when someone commits a crime. For example, when fingerprints are being collected at crime scene it makes it easier for authorities to find the criminal.

Hutson states, We'll solve more crimes and need fewer cops and also have a lot less police brutality (35). With these advance surveillances around, it will capture any incident that will transpire between a cop and civilian. If both the civilian and the police officer have a different insight of what happened, this surveillance technology will serve as evidence to prove who was at fault. These technologies are able to capture certain incidents in which a cop might not be able see, so with these surveillance technologies around, the country will be a safer place.

Again, installing surveillance technology in the workplace will provide higher productivity and also safeness. Although emerging technologies can dehumanize, they also have the potential to benefit both employers and employees by making the workplace safer (Herbert 357). These technologies increase security for the business and for the employees. It also helps to prevent petty crimes at the workplace, whether is caused by the employees or a customer. Some employees use their work time to browse the internet or do something not work related, so, with this surveillance technology around, it will keep them on their toes to do what they are supposed to do.

Surveillance technology is not only used for monitoring and keeping the society safe but it can also be helpful in the healthcare field. In a hospital care monitoring system, the constant monitoring of the patient's physiological parameter becomes necessity (Sinziana 349). This shows that surveillance technologies keep transforming healthcare for the better. These advance technologies make it easier to monitor the condition of a patients and to be able to give them proper treatment.

In conclusion, the advancement of these surveillance technology does not only invade our privacy, but it allows people with bad intentions to spy on others. Although these technologies may be useful in some ways, they can also bring harm to people. Surveillance technology does not totally drive crimes from the society. The amount of surveillance technology should be reduced in the society.

Work cited

  1. Herbert, William A. The Impact of Emerging Technologies in the Workplace; Who's Watching the Man (Who's Watching me)? Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal, vol. 25, 01 Apr.2008, p. 355.
  2. Hutson, Matthew. Even Bugs Will Be Bugged: Exploring the Next Frontiers in Surveillance The Atlantic, no.4 2016, p. 34
  3. Sarewitz, Daniel. Defending Democracy: Government Surveillance Technology Programmes Must Aim to Protect Privacy and Civil Right from the Start. Nature, no. 7298, 2010,
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Surveillance Technology Review. (2019, Dec 31). Retrieved July 13, 2024 , from

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