Several Indian cities, including Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, figure among the most surveilled cities in the world. Incidentally, Indian cities with high surveillance also have higher crime indices.
In 1942, German scientist Walter Baruch devised closed circuit television (CCTV) camera to monitor rocket launches remotely. It eventually became part of monitoring every rocket launch programme. Baruch wouldn’t have imagined that someday this technology would transform into a widely prevalent surveillance device all around the globe.
In times of late-modernity, CCTV technology has extended into a vast Orwellian mechanism with complicated surveillance tools, such as facial recognition technology (FRT), advanced drone system (ADS), data mining and profiling, social media monitoring and so on.
Though the CCTV surveillance system is rather antiquated, it is important to delve deeper into the camera surveillance technology, for it is being used widely around the globe, and more importantly in India.
In May 2021, Comparitech published a report on the use of CCTV cameras in 150 major cities across the globe. They found around 770 million cameras globally, and of which, 54% of them were reported to be in China alone.
China has the maximum number of surveilled cities compared to any other nation globally. Though surveillance is commonplace in China, several Indian cities have also earned the dubious distinction of appearing on the list of most surveilled cities across the globe.