With technological advances on the way, new issues face video surveillance in 2010. Public surveillance will become a more involved aspect of modern life. While many are concerned about civil liberties, the net effect will be beneficial for the protection of property rights.
While the recent economic crisis might have slowed industrial production, it has not stopped the flow of innovations that will shape the debate about video surveillance in 2010. Credit markets remain chilly, and foreclosed homes lie vacant in suburban ghost towns. Despite these remarkable obstacles, bright minds continue to dream up new ways to use CCTV technology. New technologies allow for ideal video and picture quality. It is easier to store and transmit recorded data than ever before. Network video recorders allow live streaming of surveillance feeds from an IP camera.
The most modest innovations tend to improve the quality and cost of the use of CCTV technology. On the short term, this means better quality data. For those who run a business, this can make it affordable to keep an eye on assets. Better video data will allow business to pursue justice in a court with clear evidence.
There is also impetus to move video surveillance in some unique directions. There is a motivation among providers to offer surveillance systems that are intelligent. These systems will begin to automatically monitor more and more information. For example, there is aggressive research into the idea of creating a gait DNA profile for individuals pictured in a video feed. This type of behavior analysis could be used to flag certain suspicious characters for closer review. When surveillance data is intelligently processed, it becomes much easier to notice specific events that justify intense examination. It is this intelligence that will truly shape the future of CCTV technology. Better data processing will reduce labor costs for businesses.
The Civil Liberties Debate
Video surveillance has spawned unique legal considerations. For private use, there is no question about civil liberties. The right to free speech and expression would guarantee your right to record and use visual data that occurs on private property. The data itself helps protect the property rights of the individual in this case. While some people might find aggressive video surveillance techniques disquieting, they have the right to avoid private property that includes this technology. Where it pertains to use on private grounds, it should be clear to all that video surveillance works to improve the protection of civil liberties.
In the public sphere, this is a more complicated issue. Serious debate has emerged over the use of video surveillance technology by governments. For example, this CBS News article details a contentious application of red light cameras by the city government of Chicago. Many motorists are concerned that such cameras do not properly determine the driver of the vehicle. However, video technology is not responsible for the way that it is applied. The courts still exist to check the application of these new innovations. As long as proper checks exist, new developments in public surveillance should be welcomed. If there is no reasonable expectation of privacy, then one should not carry out activities that would be inappropriate to review on video.
Criminal use of surveillance equipment can have consequences as well. As video equipment becomes smarter and smaller, it is possible for governments and private individuals to violate the property rights of others. Video feeds might detail private activity on grounds that are not under the lawful purview of the person doing the recording. While these concerns should not influence the development of technology, they will inspire ongoing debate about the best way to protect property rights in an increasingly advanced society.
The Changing Market for Surveillance Equipment
Complex monetary conditions have resulted in one of the more disturbing economic periods in modern history. The housing bubble burst suddenly. This caused deflationary conditions as banks took critical hits to their balance sheets. The credit markets froze, and businesses cut back spending. This reduced business spending resulted in rising unemployment. The unemployment resulted in reduced consumer spending. As a reaction, governments all over the world began to print money and spend.
While this article from IP Video Market Info details industry-wide recession losses for surveillance providers, these unique conditions allow for long-term growth in the market. Innovation is the key to realizing this. Businesses now want a lean cost model. New technologies can allow business to reduce labor costs and protect against damages. As unemployment rises, so will crime rates. This will encourage the private use of surveillance equipment to defend against theft and vandalism. Increased government spending will motivate public security funding. Smarter surveillance technology could provide a better public security with more respect for civil liberties. These technologies will be awarded with healthy government contracts in an age of worldwide stimulus spending.
In times of economic strife, market corrections must occur. At the onset of a crisis, this would mean that all businesses have to change their models. However, after this initial hit, the security industry should expect relative growth during poor economic conditions. Security is more important when the economy is unstable.
Modern circumstances might represent a paradigm shift in the progression of the video surveillance industry. CCTV technology will become smarter and sharper. Wireless technology will allow us to do much more with remote viewing.
As these technologies grow, new legal precedent will be created to address the possible concerns that relate to civil liberties. Modern consumers want to freely express themselves while protecting certain pieces of information. The courts will find even footing on this precarious ledge in due time.
While the global economic crisis might represent a changing tide for specific video surveillance companies, it is beneficial for the industry on the balance. Complex economic times call for increased security spending. 2010 will be an exciting year for the future of video surveillance.