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posted by janrinok on Sunday December 15 2019, @08:44AM   Printer-friendly
from the we-can-see-you dept.

Submitted via IRC for chromas

The US, like China, has about one surveillance camera for every four people, says report

One billion surveillance cameras will be deployed globally by 2021, according to data compiled by IHS Markit and first reportedby The Wall Street Journal. China's installed base is expected to rise to over 560 million cameras by 2021, representing the largest share of surveillance devices installed globally, with the US rising to around 85 million cameras. When taking populations into account, however, China will continue to have nearly the same ratio of cameras to citizens as the US.

In 2018, China had 350 million cameras installed for an estimated one camera for every 4.1 people. That compared to one for every 4.6 people in the US where 70 million cameras were installed. Taiwan was third in terms of penetration with one camera for every 5.5 citizens in 2018, followed by the UK and Ireland (1:6.5) and Singapore (1:7.1).

China's installed base of cameras has recently risen 70 percent, while the US increased by nearly 50 percent.

"During the past few years, coverage of the surveillance market has focused heavily on China's massive deployments of cameras and artificial intelligence (AI) technology," said IHS Markit analyst Oliver Philippou. "What's received far less attention is the high level of penetration of surveillance cameras in the United States. With the US nearly on par with China in terms of camera penetration, future debate over mass surveillance is likely to concern America as much as China."

There is a difference in how the cameras are implemented, though. In China, most cameras are installed for the purposes of widespread video surveillance of cities, whereas cameras installed in the US are primarily for the purposes of retail and commercial usage. Notably, the Chinese government is reportedly using cameras with facial recognition to profile and track members of Muslim minority groups, a million or more of whom are being rounded up and detained in indoctrination camps.

US cities are split currently on how to deal with facial recognition. As reported by the WSJ, cities like Detroit; Washington, DC; and Orlando are testing it for policing and security, while others, like San Francisco, have officially banned it. IHS Markit says only 3 percent of security cameras installed in the US are for the purposes of city-wide surveillance.

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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by fyngyrz on Sunday December 15 2019, @02:27PM

    by fyngyrz (6567) on Sunday December 15 2019, @02:27PM (#932368) Journal

    I'm wondering if the commercial ones are worth it as they cost money but let you get a better deal with your insurance company? (Otherwise, if it was just the deterrant[sic] effect, you'd buy fakes for next to nothing.)

    We have a 16-camera system. 1080p cameras, analog, high-IR coverage at night. We have 14 of the cameras at the six outside corners of the building and covering our parking and approaches to the property. All the cameras are recorded 24/7, with about a week's capacity on all 16 channels. The security system's backup power, recording engine and media are all physically inaccessible to intruders. There's no network access of any kind.

    The camera placement was carefully considered, as the building is an odd shape (it used to be a church... the windows are too high off the floor to see out of, and they are stained glass anyway, so the security system also serves as our "windows", courtesy of four strategically placed monitors inside the building.) I'd like to have more cameras, but we have at least decent coverage with 16 cameras. I've been considering a second system to add another 16 cameras, which would really give us excellent coverage. I'll probably do it.

    We used to have a 16-camera NTSC video-based system in the same positions; They weren't high enough quality to be useful to identify anyone beyond just a few feet, or read license plates under any conditions. I don't consider them to have been a good investment at all. They caught some vandalism, but the recorded video was useless in identifying the perpetrator. That was very frustrating. So when HD security systems became available, I immediately purchased one.

    Those HD cameras are something else entirely.

    Twice, they've recorded miscreants in the act. One of those was just vicious-minded vandalism. The perpetrator was caught because we had excellent quality footage, and was made to pay restitution for the damage. He otherwise got off with probation. The other was a robbery, where my car was broken into and the electronics stolen. Those people — there were two of them — are serving time. My insurance paid for the loss and damage, which was considerable, much more than the security system cost, which was under $1000.00 USD, including all 16 cameras and the cabling.

    I live in a low-population town in a red US state (Montana), and the bubbas here are exactly that type of fool who thinks taking a baseball bat to a mailbox or shooting holes in signs is high entertainment. Depending on your own circumstance, a security system could easily pay for itself with only one event.

    The police came and asked us once if we had footage of a hit and run that took place in view of one of the corner cameras; we did. I happily gave them a copy of that segment of the video; it had caught the license place, too. That resulted in jail time. Well deserved. I did have to appear in court and attest to the source of the video. Not a problem.

    What you have to determine is, what's your estimation of the likelihood of an event where camera footage could make a difference for you. It's all down to individual circumstances, and just how well you can estimate your own odds.

    All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

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