Technology is a two-way street. On one side, you have the heap of advantages, while on the other, you are often faced with challenges it creates. Surveillance cameras are one such technological innovation that can easily turn the credits into defects.
Surveillance cameras have found their places in almost every corner. Recently, from shops and malls, their presence has extended to public areas and offices as well. As much as it is convenient to monitor the entrances and exits, it has also been discreetly evolving to accommodate coding as well as intelligent analysis.
The question persists; where is the line between ensuring security and invasion of privacy. If you are still contemplating the right choice, here we have a list of pros and cons for using smart surveillance.
Pros of Surveillance Cameras
1. Increased Safety
Undeniably, the foremost advantage of using surveillance cameras is to improve safety. It will help you to reduce crime by allowing one to monitor all activities. It will help the public stay safe while enabling authorities to deter crime. In some cases, a crime could be stopped with the warning signs from the camera’s real-time feed.
Today, moving surveillance cameras can even track a live moving object, which is crucial in monitoring activities. This will equip you to follow any suspicious scenarios and pose a reliable security measure. In an office, it will help to navigate the ins and outs of the place and detect any suspicious activities.
2. Documenting Evidence
As surveillance cameras can store data, they can be crucial evidence for any crime. In a public place, they can help identify criminals, and produce documented proof in front of the court.
Video surveillance in an office means that evidence is generated if any crime occurs. In a scenario where there is a dispute, the evidence from the camera could be invaluable in finding the truth. For instance, if an employee tries to blame a customer, the surveillance camera could reveal the actual incident. It will help to maintain decorum in the work environment.
3. Help to Reduce Harassment
Harassments are becoming increasingly common not only in public but also in offices. The presence of a security camera will significantly reduce any assault or harassment. According to a 2016 report by the U.S. Department of Justice, 80% of assaults go unreported. As such, installing a surveillance camera with audio capturing can encourage victims to come forwards without fearing them being branded as liars.
4. Boost productivity in a Workplace
While the primary aim is to ensure safety, a surveillance camera can encourage employees to bring out their maximum potential in the workplace. Surveys reveal that nearly 21% of employees spend 5 hours a week doing non-work related activities. When aware of additional monitoring, they would be more conscious about doing their work, which will increase their productivity.
Cons of Surveillance Cameras
Though the advantages may outshine the disadvantages, surveillance cameras, much like any other technology, are not devoid of their demerits.
1. Surveillance Cameras are Prone to Abuse
Surveillance equipment is not exempt from vandalism in public places. Not only that, it could often induce distrust towards authorities on how the data could be manipulated. As of now, there is no line or a control system on how these cameras could be used. There is always a wide concern over how these cameras are used to protect security while not endangering liberty.
In a workplace, such cameras could also be used to spy on employees without them being aware. Hidden cameras always pose a threat to privacy, without a system to check how they are being used.
2. Ineffective at Times
The data recorded by surveillance cameras are always susceptible to hacking and could be used without consent. As the cameras are evolving, so are the criminals. Tech-savvy can easily hack into the system and figure out a way to replace the visuals.
In the worst-case scenario, they could even be used by criminals to spy on you instead. Unless there is guaranteed security and real-time feed, surveillance cameras are also not effective in preventing crimes, only to find the culprit after the crime.
3. High Installation and Maintenance Cost
Running a surveillance camera system is not an inexpensive affair. Apart from the maintenance cost, it will also require dedicated employees to watch the feed continually. Depending on the scale of the surveillance system, it would require a robust computer network and continuous upgrades as well.
There is undoubtedly a wide array of benefits in favor of surveillance cameras. It is there to ensure a sense of security and safety. However, it is up to the company and public authorities to decide whether the potential repercussions are worth the effort.
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