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CCTV is good for something… or is it?

January 17, 2009

MSNBC has some great footage of US Airways 1549 that crash-landed in the Hudson yesterday, taken from CCTV cameras on a nearby wharf.

However well this footage shows the undoubted skill of the pilot, I can’t help thinking every time I see this kind of use of CCTV footage that it must play a really important part in the process of normalisation. The fact that people can see footage from CCTV on the news adds to a largely mistaken impression that video surveillance ‘works’. It doesn’t matter whether the footage is of an amazing tale of heroism and survival, a crash or a crime prevented or committed, the images have a pre-rational power. They create a ‘demand’ for more cameras or the idea that they are necessary even though we may be watching something that nothing to do with the purpose of the cameras, and may even, as in the case of images of crime occurring, be witnessing the overt failure of the preventative purpose of CCTV.

Still, great video, isn’t it?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 22, 2009 12:56 pm

    I too accept your point, In the name of security, our privacy has been destroyed by these cctv cameras.


  2. David permalink
    January 22, 2009 1:01 pm

    Thank-you, CCTV in chennai – I take it you are in Chennai in India – has there been an expansion of CCTV there?

  3. August 5, 2009 6:25 am

    I dont think so… cctv is giving privacy to us walk in public areas… it is protecting us from enemies…


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