Technology will continue to enhance our ability to monitor public spaces. But cities should seize upon more surveillance cautiously.
The potential value of public surveillance technology took on new meaning last week when investigators identified the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing after sifting through video images captured by the city’s cameras.
This has prompted public officials like Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to speak of the “important function”such cameras play in offering safety on a daily basis and during events both big and small.
The successful use of this technology in such a high-profile investigation is likely to prompt other major cities to reaffirm – and even expand – their investment in and use of surveillance cameras. Civil liberties advocates fear this would create an undue invasion of privacy.