CCTV surveillance is public areas is growing steadily, as we move towards a centrally connected infrastructure for governance. The widespread implications of CCTV usage include tracking crime, facilitating smart services and a looming threat of cyber criminals crippling everyday life, and major cities across the world have been incorporating more surveillance cameras as facial recognition technology becomes more sophisticated. Now, a report by Comparitech has claimed that New Delhi, the capital city of India, has more closed circuit surveillance cameras around than technology hub Bengaluru, or even global technology epicentre, San Francisco.
While the balance of regions inside New Delhi where CCTV cameras are concentrated has not been taken into account, the report has revealed that New Delhi has 9.62 CCTV cameras for every 1,000 individuals, suggesting that the entire state has nearly 300,000 CCTV cameras put in place for surveillance. Interestingly, New Delhi is the only Indian city to make the list of top 20 most surveilled places in the world, with the other two being Chennai with 4.67 cameras per 1,000 people, and Lucknow with 2.59 cameras for every 1,000 individuals. Cities such as Bengaluru and Hyderabad, which have had a significantly larger influx of technology companies, appear to not even be in the list, while cities such as San Francisco and San Diego, considered to be global technology hubs, rank even lower down the order.
Unsurprisingly, however, the top eight surveilled cities in the world happen to be in China, with Chongqing, Shenzhen and Shanghai leading the chart. China is widely regarded as the most extensively surveilled nation in the world, which is also why the report does not come as a major surprise. While the general methodology of the report does make certain assumptions, it still sheds interesting light into how general surveillance has grown over time, and how it might grow even further with the advent of more sophisticated technologies.