Wednesday, November 11, 2009

2.75 million security cameras installed in China



China is planning to boost their use of Security Cameras.
On Monday an article came out about security cameras in China. China’s police say they have installed 2.75 million surveillance cameras since 2003 and plan to expand the system into the countryside, which is home to about 800 million of the country’s 1.3 billion people.
The cameras are the most visible components of police surveillance, mainly in urban areas, according to a news release posted Monday on the Chinese Public Security Ministry’s Web site.
These camera security systems have proved controversial in other countries, like Britain, which reportedly has 4.2 million surveillance cameras installed – which is about one per 14 people. The ratio of cameras to people stands at only one to 472,000. The camera-to-person ratio is believed to be much higher in China’s cities, with the capital Beijing having 265,000 cameras.
No dialog or privacy rights has arisen in China, where tight communist political control and broad and intrusive police powers have been the norm for half a century. However, China’s plans to combine surveillance cameras with face recognition software has raised concerns about how the equipment will be used.
The Associated Press reported “Thefts, burglaries and purse snatching have all more than doubled since the 1990s amid rising wealth inequalities and relaxed social controls, with about 4.75 million cases reported in 2007, the last year for which statistics were available. However, police say violent crime has declined in recent years with better enforcement of rules governing weapons and explosives.” The Chinese police believe that the expansion of camera security to the countryside should “put the safety of the broad masses of the people first and foremost.”

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