With camera technology increasing while prices decrease, the use of surveillance cameras seems ubiquitous in larger cities like Boston and New York City. With the large amount of people in Boston for the marathon taking photos, law enforcement were able to use private and public photos to find the bombers and piece together what happened. While this is a great thing, there are still many questions that need to be asked about the dangers of all the time surveillance.
privacy advocates remain concerned about pervasive, and potentially invasive, surveillance technology.
Government use of surveillance technology has expanded considerably in the past decade, amid advances in computing as well as government spending on homeland security. Such technology includes a high density of cameras in some urban centers, traffic cameras along highways, and well as the use of advanced technology such as facial recognition in airports.
Some privacy advocates said the ability of investigators to track the suspects within a matter of days demonstrates that more invasive surveillance isn’t needed. “It’s one thing to have private closed-circuit cameras and look at feeds after the fact,” said Alan Butler, a lawyer with the Electronic Privacy Information Center. “It’s very different if you’re talking about systems of cameras identifying and tracking people over time, all the time. Especially if you couple that with facial recognition and license-plate readers and databases.”