September 5, 2021

Which one: Better Security Less Privacy, or Better Privacy but Less Security?

There’s a recent discussion in my local community, about installing CCTV with plate number (AES) and facial recognition throughout our neighborhood and town. A large portion supports it, as there had been cases of hit-and-run, kidnapping and robberies, but some are against it due to privacy reasons.

To be honest, I am more on the supporting side; I feel it is safer to have CCTV for crime prevention at the expense of them knowing I walked here and there, and I can still get privacy in my own room and home behind a gated community. This would also help with facial recognition of missing child and criminals, as sometime we ourselves do not realize or look at people’s faces beside us.

How about you? Which one would you prefer?



I’m for better security and better privacy!

The disjunction appears to be rather artificial. There’s no need for total resignation from privacy while security is fully maintained – your recommendation is a clear example of a reasonable balance. If the access to the video is limited to cases when there are serious needs and recordings are inaccessible to any person in any other situation then there’s no big risk of malicious use of them nor a chance to overuse it for AI-supported facial recognition.

Unfortunately, I’m afraid that there are no appropriate systems built with this approach in mind. Classic CCTV systems aren’t appropriate…

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