TV Reporter Counts How Many Times He’s Filmed by Surveillance Video Cameras
According to a recent documentary, the average American is caught on camera 200 times every day. NBC 7/39 reporter Artie Ojeda began tracking how many times he was watched in a single day.
It began with five cameras at the gas station and mini-mart.
On the freeway, Ojeda discovered he passes by no fewer than six CalTrans camera each day. Then, there were cameras on stoplights, which most people don’t realize are capturing their every move.In downtown San Diego, there were cameras on almost every building, including no fewer than 11 on the Federal Building. There are cameras on elevators and during the walk through Horton Plaza to the NBC 7/39 building, Ojeda found countless cameras on stores, including one at Macy’s.
On the NBC building and adjoining visitor’s center, Ojeda counted no fewer than 10 cameras.
When all was said and done, Ojeda had spotted 62 cameras before 9 a.m. While these surveillance cameras have become part of our landscape, their effectiveness is cause for debate.
“We’re steadily marching to a society where every moment that you leave your home will be monitored and videotaped. And that’s creepy. That’s not American,” said Kevin Keenan of the ACLU.
Last August, the ACLU put out a comprehensive report on surveillance cameras.
“The studies show that these cameras don’t deter crime. At best, they move it outside the view of the camera itself,” Keenan said.
Law enforcement disagrees. At the Metropolitan Transportation System security center, cameras monitor trolley stations around the clock. The cameras are remotely controlled.
“They’re a very effective tool,” said Bill Burke of the MTS. “In safety, in Homeland Security, crime, in all those things, it’s worked out very well for us.”
San Diego police said reported crime in a half-mile radius around Belmont Park has dropped 30 percent since they put up cameras. In El Cajon, police said their red light camera system is the reason behind an 80-percent reduction in collisions at certain intersections.
“It keeps people on their best behavior and it keeps people acting as they probably should be,” said Victor Vidales, who was visiting San Diego.
Not all cameras, such as traffic cameras, are set up to record. But they have the potential.
The San Diego Police Department’s Northern Division said they hope to expand camera surveillance in the beach area. It would include a nine-block span of Garnet Avenue.
[To see this article,