When & Where It All Started?
The whole world is currently facing an unprecedented pandemic situation where ‘an invisible enemy’ is quietly changing our entire lives and imposes entire new daily normality. Yes – it is the COVID-19 or the so-called ‘Coronavirus’ that was registered for the first time on 31st of December 2019 in Wuhan, China. Since then, more than half of the world’s population has been infected, while almost 300,000 have sadly lost their lives.
Most of us have seen anything like this before! We are witnessing a worldwide lockdown that has turned major, highly-populated cities such as London, Paris, Rome, New York, Madrid, Los Angelis and many more into ghost towns.
All world-leaders keep imposing a wide range of measures to suppress the spread of the disease and bring back normality into our lives. However, everybody agrees that before a vaccine is successfully developed, tested and distributed, we will be unable to gain back our freedom regardless of the measures undertaken or support provided to the health workers. According to many scientists, it is likely that the creation of a vaccine will take more than a year which automatically means that what we took for granted will not return into its normal state anytime soon. All our favourite places such as restaurants, coffee shops, hair studios, pubs, bars, even our workplaces, will keep being closed or will operate at restricted access & capacity.
People will not be allowed to organise weddings with all of their friends and relatives or attend the funerals of their loved ones who have sadly lost the battle against COVID-19.
Surveillance & COVID-19
We have seen that CCTV is an excellent solution in how nations enforce social distancing measures and monitor the spread of the virus in order to save lives. Not only recording personal contact with others but CCTV systems are also to be equipped with mobile data tracking applications, facial recognition solutions and drones to facilitate social isolation regimes. However, for these CCTV features to be introduced, and most importantly, to be an effective tool and limit the ‘Coronavirus’ spread, there has to be a viable proof and multiple trial tests beforehand to ensure that the infection/immunity information gathered is accurate and not misleading.
In some more authoritarian countries than the UK, facial recognition is tracking individuals who have to stay indoors and thermal imaging cameras on public transport are measuring people’s temperatures and discover new COVID-19 cases so as the authorities can intervene on time.
CCTV – A Threat For People’s Freedom Or Not?
As to any major worldwide matter, similarly, when it comes to COVID-19, there are plenty of controversial opinions about how the situation should be handled. Many people have expressed their concerns that CCTV and tracking applications are not simply aiming to make people follow the imposed lock-down rules and benefit their health, but to intervene in their privacy and free rights of movement.
We will never know whether technologies’ usage is used in our favour or not BUT let’s hope that soon this pandemic will be over so we can go back and worry about more simple aspects of our daily lives.
Share with us your thoughts regarding CCTV & COVID19.