How have video cameras changed over time
After carefully reading your dispute, I would like to state my opinion here in a well-founded manner as to whether there should be an expansion of public video surveillance.
First of all, for me the arguments of both sides are understandable and I also see a fundamental problem here, namely that two elementary fundamental rights - the first paragraph of Art 2 GG and the second - collide and are weighed against each other.
Well, what are the arguments in favor of expanding public video surveillance?
There is the prevention of small crimes, as Maria mentioned, which according to statistics, e.g. in parking garages, can be effectively prevented by video cameras.
So the cameras are used to prevent crime? No not true. Perhaps the criminal offenses are prevented in these specific places, but not generally, which is clear from the numbers of all criminal offenses in Germany, namely stagnating at a good 6 million per year. The cameras do not prevent the acts, but only shift their location. For capital crimes such as terrorist attacks, on the other hand, the cameras could even be used as a stage to attract public attention.
So if the cameras don't help with prevention, they can help solve the crimes, right?
Yes, definitely. Here the cameras have to be given a very big advantage: With their help it is possible to assess the course of events objectively, since one does not have to reconstruct it from witness statements, but can refer to the real events. However, the cameras also have disadvantages in this regard: 1. In the event of a power failure, they are useless and 2. the recordings must be deleted after an average of 24 hours, unless a criminal offense is suspected. This must be reported to the police within 24 hours, otherwise the recordings are useless.
All that remains is to increase the subjective feeling of security. Well, there is already the word "subjective" in there, so it differs from person to person whether or not they feel safer with the cameras. On the contrary, there are also people who feel uncomfortable because they HAVE to reveal personal information about themselves.
And here is the point. You can say that you reveal more information about yourself when you use social media, but it is the case that as soon as you use social media, you agree to their terms and conditions and these terms and conditions do not exist in public video surveillance, you will thus forced to divulge personal information about themselves even as an innocent citizen. The expansion of public video surveillance thus violates Art 2 (1) GG, informational self-determination.
But if the state does nothing to increase security, it itself violates Art 1 and 2 (2) of the Basic Law. So cameras after all? No, because they violate the BVG's principle of proportionality. Video surveillance would restrict more people's fundamental rights than it would protect them.
The state should rather invest in more police personnel. These can prevent crimes as well as investigate AND do not restrict people's basic rights in such a way.
In addition, there would be no major additional costs for the state, since a surveillance system costs € 100,000-500,000, plus there are staff to evaluate the recordings.
In conclusion, I have to agree with Nik that discussions ultimately always end on the emotional level, since citizens can identify with it better than with any surveys or statistics. So everyone has to decide for themselves whether they are for or against, although the legal situation tends to speak against an expansion of public video surveillance.
Personally, I am also against the expansion of video surveillance, but prefer more police personnel in order to reduce crime.
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