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Argument Essay on Security Cameras - Feedback / Revision


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I am to write an argumentative essay on security cameras, and why I am for or against them.There are a few corrections I've made myself. Constructive criticism is appreciated.


It was Super Bowl XXXV of 2001. One hundred thousand fans passed through the gates not knowing surveillance cameras were digitally checking them. The computer scanned their faces and checked and cross-referenced their images with computer files of known criminals, terrorists and con artists. This action was able to immediately identify any people who have a history of illegal activities. Those who matched the photo files in the police database were taken aside and questioned. The surveillance cameras matched nineteen criminal faces among the 100,000 fans at Super Bowl XXXV with the police database. The public was not aware that they were doing this. Many people complained and argued that this action was an invasion of privacy, but the cameras were there for their protection. The growing use of surveillance cameras in today's society has lead to several privacy issues being raised. Nowadays, surveillance cameras are used not only by the government but also by individuals and other private firms. The use of such devices has become so commonly used that it has affected our lifestyles in one way or another. Security cameras are seen almost everywhere—in shops, banks, schools, companies, hotels and even in private houses. As we all know, technology has the potential for bad along with good—while surveillance cameras help prevent crime, their use has led to the loss of many individuals' jobs. While a total banning of surveillance cameras is most likely not a viable option, I believe the use of security cameras needs to be regulated.
Security Cameras help stop crime; that is not an opinion, it is a fact. On October 29th, 2009, "Footage of a security camera captures a man ... later identified as Mariano Tarracino outside a bar shooting a man in the back and then the head." Without the footage caught on camera, police say Tarracino would still be roaming city streets (The London Times). Similarly, In Oakland, California, a man was arrested for being suspected of purse snatching. The man tried to convince the police that he was nowhere near the victim, but digital video images from the Oakland train station caught him lying; the video clearly shows the man snatching the purse from a woman. He is now facing robbery charges. (cite) In fact, even (FAMOUS PERSON)(Quote of a someone good saying security cameras help?) As well as protecting our great country's citizens, newer technology in surveillance also offers better protection for businesses. Most stores have surveillance cameras watching every nook and cranny. These cameras look for people who might take a "five-finger discount", or shoplift. Surveillance cameras can catch and show evidence linking the shoplifter with their violation. If an intended shoplifter knows that there are surveillance cameras around, he or she probably will not shoplift. ("he or she" usage?) (CITE). (when one... they... them??). Speeding is a big problem that can cause some serious injuries. The government is now putting up cameras at stoplights to protect people from traffic violators. More than sixty cities in the U.S are using traffic cameras at busy intersections. Now, when a person runs a red light, or drives unreasonably fast through an intersection, they can expect a traffic citation. By installing these cameras, people are more likely to drive safe; this will inevitably lead to fewer accidents at some of the busiest intersections—it could even save lives. When one knows there are cameras around they are less likely to do something that might get them into trouble. (Does that sentence fit?) Security cameras catch criminals. They help solve crime as well prevent it.
Unfortunately, the use of security cameras has replaced many individuals' jobs. Instead of hiring a guard to keep watch over a business, or an officer to observe a busy intersection or crowded area, it is easier—and more affordable—for companies to install a simple surveillance camera, rather than hire a person. Newer technology offers smaller, better, and more affordable cameras. It is cheaper to put cameras up than it is to hire more security guards and policemen. These cameras are showing up in supermarkets, stores, libraries, schools, subways, highways, and even in changing rooms. Revenues from video surveillance cameras has more than tripled from $282 million in 1990 to more than $1 billion in 2000, and it is still growing today (CITE). This growth of security cameras has directly affected employment. People are no longer needed to prevent such crimes from taking place... (finish...)
The issue of public surveillance cameras being an invasion of privacy has been growing for the past few years. Many people argue that the constant video surveillance is an invasion of their privacy. The right to privacy is a common-law, which is a court made law. The U.S constitution contains no direct references to the right of privacy. An action of invasion of privacy is actually comprised of four distinct torts, which are legal wrongs. These are: intrusion upon seclusion; appropriation of name or likeness; publicity given to private life; and publicity placing the person in a false light. To sue successfully for invasion of privacy, a plaintiff only has to prove one of the four torts. Public surveillance cameras are not violating any of these torts, therefore they are not an invasion of privacy (CITE). Personal information about people is needed for them to vote, get a job, shop, check out a book, get a credit card, and many other things. Most people don't care if they have to give this information out; however, if someone else gathers that information people automatically consider it an invasion of privacy. Surveillance cameras are solely there to gather information, just like the information needed to check out a book. --------- (Maybe a more specific example) An employer suspected that his employee, Richardson, was sleeping on the job. The employer put cameras in Richardson's office and placed him under surveillance. Richardson was indeed sleeping and was fired after the boss caught him on camera. Richardson then took the company to court, arguing that the surveillance cameras were an invasion of his privacy. The judge stated that Richardson could have had no reasonable expectation of privacy, given that he was sleeping on company time, on company property, and in a place where Richardson was expected to be contacted.
Surveillance cameras can be very useful. They aren't here to spy on our private lives; they are here to protect our private lives. They catch the bad guys; they catch the drunk drivers and get them off the streets; they save businesses from bad employees and shoplifters, and most of all, they protect the right to a safe, better environment for all of us.

Nov 28, 2009, 01:26pm   #
The growing use of surveillance cameras in today's society has led to several privacy issues being raised.

The use of such devices has become so commonly used that it has affected our lifestyles in one way or another.

By installing these cameras, people are more likely to drive safely...

This growth in the use of security cameras has directly affected employment.

Many people argue that the constant video surveillance is an invasion of their privacy.

Most people don't care if they have to give this information out; however, if someone else gathers that information, people automatically consider it an invasion of privacy.



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